The day after the 2013 season ended, we fired up our computers and read 22 words about Freddy Garcia:

Sweaty Freddy Garcia is no longer a passable big-league starter, which means he's got five or six more seasons in him, tops.

And, with those 22 words written by R.J. Anderson, the production of the 2014 Baseball Prospectus Annual was underway. We (Jason and Sam) are editing the thing this year. Everybody who has ever edited the thing has advised us against editing the thing, so if we’re not as gregarious in a few months you’ll understand why. But, so far, we couldn’t be more excited about where it’s going. You’ll see in February. We can’t provide evidence yet (other than the 22 words about Freddy Garcia) but a few things that’ll be a little different this year:

  • The essays will be, for the first time, bylined. The Annual is a group effort and involves a lot of writing, rewriting, editing, back editing, re-editing, and rewriting, so it has a long history of being published under a shared byline. That’s still the policy for comments, but we think the essays are a good place to let the authorial voice shine. So, this year, you’ll know who wrote that awesome brilliant insane thing!
  • The essays will be, for the first time, opened up to outsiders. BP authors will be writing a number of team essays, when we have special insight into the teams. But we’ve also gone out and recruited a terrific roster of beat writers, columnists, broadcasters, bloggers, and interested parties, including a number of names far more famous than our own. People we never thought would say yes. We could make a poster of the essay authors in the style of those Coachella lineups, but we’re going to keep some things secret until it’s time to release the thing. You’ll see.
  • Combining points 1 and 2: the essays will not resemble last year’s template. Those essays were a noble attempt at creating something digestible, useful and consistent, but we heard from you, and you wanted a return to the classic essays of BP 1.0 and 2.0: imaginative and enthusiastic explorations, unconstrained by any template. “Your freedom is near total,” we wrote to our authors in the introductory email blast. We are as excited to see what this leads to as, we hope, you are.

We’ll also have everything you expect from a BP Annual. There are more than 2,100 player comments on our list. There are bonus essays from further awesome people. There’s the incredible prospect coverage from Jason Parks and the BP prospects team. So that’s what we’re doing. We just thought you should know. (Preorder now!)

Thank you for reading

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Really glad to have the old style team essays back. That was what I missed most last year.
Happy to read of the changes, but sad to read that King and Cecilia aren't continuing with the editing.
Can't wait to read BP2014. Happy, in the sense that I get to spend the Christmas season doing Christmas things with my kids, that that won't happen till February.

Thank you for the kind words, Diane. The BP annual is in great hands.
As one who has subscribed to this website and bought the annual for a number of years, this post leaves me cautiously optimistic that the BP annual will get back on track.

Frankly, the last couple years have been disappointments, especially 2013, which I found totally useless and a complete waste of money.

Beyond the team essay issues, most of the player comments were lacking in insight beyond the obvious. So please be sure to take extra care there, as well as the overall editing of the product.

Anyway, really looking forward to the essays, and I can't wait to see who some of the contributors are.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who greatly prefers the Web site to the annual. And I came to BP through the annual originally.

Here are my pet peeves about the annual:

1. Many, many, many more players are projected to exceed their PECOTA in the narrative comments than are projected to fall short of them. How is this possible? Answer: the narrative comments are normally wrong.
2. Misspelled words, typos, missing words, grammar problems, general haste-induced sloppiness. Some of the errors would show up with the red underline in Word.
3. Team essays varied widely in quality. I guess that might continue?
Baseball fan porn.