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!)