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July 15, 2014

The State of Prospectus

Strong

by Sam Miller


So now we've done that: the first issue of Baseball Prospectus since 2012 that was not edited by Ben Lindbergh. Still pretty good, right? We had some great prospects coverage, thick fantasy insight, a penetrating interview with Travis d’Arnaud, a podcast, some laughs. Analysis looking back, analysis looking forward. A slate of articles Ben would be proud of.

And Ben has every right to be proud, though he didn’t edit a word. While everybody knows what a tremendous writer Ben is—he made me care about Neal Cotts, which is right up there with Freaks and Geeks making me care about Kim Kelly—only a few of us appreciate what an incredible, staff-changing leader he was. He worked harder than any of us, his attention to detail bordered on compulsive, and his red pen brought out the best in every submission. Those three traits helped him find, recruit, and cultivate talented writers and analysts over the past two years. Our CEO Joe Hamrahi, our director of prospects and player development Jason Parks, and our director of fantasy Bret Sayre have done likewise. The result is a staff with five-tool talent, elite upside, premium positional value, 80-grade intelligence, double-plus wit, easy plus creativity, good secondary skills, and even a bit of projectability left.

Among the writers who have recently taken on bigger roles, or will:

  • Rocco DeMaro joined us this month. He's best known for building and hosting the Pirates' pregame/postgame radio shows during the tail end of The Dark Years (2007 to 2010). He has worked at GameTrailers.com as an editor and manager of the site's news blog, and is a plus-plus podcaster; both his 'Life of Leisure' and 'Side Mission Briefing' podcasts have topped iTunes charts. His Notes About Baseball column has so far included interviews, oddities, and a lot of Billy Hamilton. He’s on Twitter.

  • Dan Brooks and Harry Pavlidis, geniuses both, will begin contributing regularly as writers. Dan previously wrote a wonderful essay in the most recent Baseball Prospectus Annual about the complicated nature of engineering changes in the sport. Harry's series about what makes a good changeup was one of my favorite pieces of baseball analysis anywhere last year. And, of course, their work making PITCHf/x data usable has been valuable beyond estimation. We’re completely excited to read more of their writing. Dan and Harry are both on Twitter.

Besides these guys, our fantasy coverage is more vigorous that it has been at any point in the site’s history. The prospects coverage is ridiculously thick, or girthy, or creamy, or whatever word you think would go well with a hashtag. And, as Ben noted in his farewell, “the statistical wing of BP is as robust as it’s been since I started.”

The point being, mostly, this: Ben left us with a heck of a roster. Surveying the site with editor-in-chief eyes for the first time today, I see an organization that’s running well, that’s focused on growing, and that thrives because every person on staff wants to live up to the standards set by all those who have come and left before us—including, now, our dear departed leader. Am I capable of destroying the site? Yeah, probably capable. But, thanks to Ben, Joe, Jason, Bret, and everybody else working here, it would take a really long time, and almost willful incompetence. In the meantime, any imminent changes will be for the better. The price of a subscription is going to be worthwhile for a really long time.

Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

13 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

jfmoguls

Agreed(about the worth of the subscription).

As a (pretty) long-time subscriber I've seen a lot of people leave. Christina Kahrl's transactions chronicles were a favorite and they seemed to reach a peak of excellence just before the end (not that I don't still enjoy the transactions articles).

But no matter who leaves, the hits just keep coming. For example, there's this relatively new guy, Sam Miller, who is hilarious.

Thanks. John

Jul 14, 2014 16:38 PM
rating: 10
 
Shaun P.
(676)

"Am I capable of destroying the site? Yeah, probably capable."

You once made pits appear all over ballparks, so I don't doubt it! But in all seriousness, as another long-time subscriber, you've got a great lineup, amazing coverage of so many topics, and the writing is as good as it has ever been, IMHO. BP remains the standard for in-depth baseball everything.

Jul 14, 2014 17:09 PM
rating: 7
 
johnwood427

Ben who?

Jul 15, 2014 04:32 AM
rating: -1
 
amazin_mess

I've been here since roughly '03. Now that BP has gained a wider range of exposure within the baseball industry, it's safe to say readers can expect to see even faster turnover of the writers. I've watched some high-profile alumni leave - like Joe Sheehan, Christina Kahrl and Will Carroll. And yet, Prospectus continues to find excellent replacements. And worth the price of a year's subscription? Please...that's not even a question. The site is fantastic.

Jul 15, 2014 08:40 AM
rating: 4
 
therealn0d

You know, whenever there is a comment bringing up old favorites, I always think of one person, and somehow I haven't yet mentioned him. I think of all the people I miss most, it is Doug Pappas.

Jul 15, 2014 14:17 PM
rating: 0
 
Kendall Guillemette

RIP Ben.

Jul 15, 2014 10:32 AM
rating: 0
 
rrvwmr

Sam, talk slower please.

Jul 15, 2014 16:23 PM
rating: 0
 
lazyitis

"The prospects coverage is ridiculously thick, or girthy, or creamy, or whatever word you think would go well with a hashtag." Looking forward to your reign, Sam.

Jul 15, 2014 17:41 PM
rating: 0
 
batts40

I've read/subscribed to BP seemingly forever, and each time I think a loss is going to sting, more amazingly talented people step up and the product becomes even better. That's a huge testament to the people that leave that they leave the place better than they found it. Keep up the great work.

Jul 15, 2014 19:57 PM
rating: 1
 
Degerman

The new recruits appear to be above replacement level. Keep up the compelling work. #want

Jul 16, 2014 08:14 AM
rating: 0
 
dashunk

Recommend polling your subscribers for desired changes to the Prospectus, the web site and daily premium newsletter. Feedback is revealing.

Jul 16, 2014 12:06 PM
rating: 0
 
NJTomatoes

why so coy? Where did Ben go? During that in my life when I was a news man, we were expected to recap the details of the event being discussed. It would have taken just a quick statement about when/where Ben was going or a reference to when/where it was announced. Sometimes we can't read or tap in to BP every day (admittedly a rare circumstance) but it does happen.

Jul 17, 2014 13:00 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24123

Jul 17, 2014 13:04 PM
 
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