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How to start and maintain a Prospect Page

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#1 ashbury


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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:33 PM

Haven't adopted a prospect before? Don't hang back! It's really not that hard.


It probably takes me an hour or so to set up a page the way I like it (but then I'm too picky, and you might be quicker), and then a few minutes per week to post updates of the player's performance. Here are a few tips on getting started.


First, of course, read a few existing prospect pages, and decide what layout and writing style you would like to follow. Most adopters tend toward a straight journalistic style, rather than try to deeply analyze the player's ability or to forecast his future. We're just fans and we don't have to try to be something we're not.


Begin your page by going to the Adopt A Prospect 2018 forum and click "Start New Topic" at the top - this will begin the thread that is all about your player. The pattern here is to use the initial post in your thread to introduce the player, and then you'll post response comments as the season progresses, to record the player's on-field results or off-field news. Choose as a title "Player Name - 2018".


Most prospect pages start with basic information: age, height, weight, handedness, birthplace, schools, how acquired. The sources I use are Baseball-Reference.com and the player search tool at mlb.com. In fact, I bookmark these player pages, because I will be using them throughout the season. If I find discrepancies in information between the two, I do a little extra google searching - or for instance I just assume that the taller/heavier number is correct since players are sometimes still growing, not to mention that weight isn't a static number during a season anyway.


Photos aren't mandatory but they do add some visual appeal to the page. (See how boring this page looks?) Probably I don't need to explain about using Google Image Search. One photo is sufficient, but additional ones can be fun if they add something, for instance an action shot to go with a portrait-style closeup.


Give a paragraph or two recapping the player's career to date. A few adopters invest time researching for personal tidbits, through browser searches mostly, but a perfectly good player page can be constructed with just the on-field information gleaned from the above player links. It is better to not simply recite a ton of stats, since you can provide a link to those stats pages and let the reader go see - pick out some highlights if you want to, or characterize the performance from year to year. Write what you would like to read, and you'll probably hit the right balance. If you have an interesting reason for choosing the player, by all means share it with your readers.


Before the season, you may not be certain which Twins affiliate your player will be on. So try to write in a way that your first page won't look out of date as soon as the season starts. The posts you make later on can provide time-dependent information.


OK, so once the season starts, how can you find out how your player is doing? Again, I use the player page at baseball-reference.com as my starting point. On it (make sure you're on the Minor League page for the player, if he has any major league experience), click on the "Minors Game Logs & Splits" link, which will take you to a page listing each game the player has appeared in this season. Click on the Date of one of these games, and it will take you to the Milb.com box score. Not only can you peruse the box score, but if you click on "Log" on the box score page, it will take you to a play-by-play log that lets you figure out virtually anything about what your player did. But wait - there's more! Click on the Recap link, and you will get one or more stories about the game. You can also click the Highlights link and see if anything in there is interesting regarding your player.


For starting pitchers, I try to post an update soon after each start. For other pitchers and for position players, weekly works out well - but if something big happens, like a two-HR night, by all means disrupt the pattern and post the breaking news!


On that b-r.com Game Logs page, you can also scroll down to find some "splits", season statistics regarding lefty-righty matchups and home-road splits and so forth. Additionally, the page allows you to click a starting date and an ending date for a range of games in the logs section, so that you can for instance say "Joe Shlabotnik hit an astounding .235 and scored two runs during the week of June 10, by far the best performance of his career." (Make sure to click on a place on each line that isn't a web link, for instance the "Rk" column.)


The local newspaper, for either team in the game, will often have online stories about the game, giving perhaps an interesting nugget or two for you to use. I have used these:

Rochester: https://www.democratandchronicle.com/

Chattanooga: http://www.timesfreepress.com/

Ft Myers: https://www.news-press.com/

Cedar Rapids: http://www.thegazette.com/

Elizabethton: https://www.elizabethton.com/


In addition to game stories, sometimes if you search your player's name at these newspaper sites you will locate a human-interest story about your player that you can share with your readers - that's a staple of newspaper content during the season. Or, you can periodically do a broad browser search on your player's name, just to see what recent news might be out there on the World Wide Web.


Some of the above newspapers provide an email address for their beat reporter for the team (and in a minor league town, there will be only one). Once or twice, when my player hasn't played in a few days, I have reached out that way to ask what's up, and have gotten a nice reply with the needed information. Again, it all depends on how much time you want to invest.


During the season, your player may have an article or other interesting information posted on TD. Feel free to cross-reference in both directions - provide the link in your prospect page, and also go to that article and post a comment pointing back to your prospect page. There's also usually nothing wrong with politely posting a link to your TD prospect page in a comment page on some other site that mentions your player, if you believe their readership would have an interest specifically in your player.


And finally, depending on your interest, you can follow your player via social media. The b-r.com player page often lists a Twitter handle. By following it, you may learn some things as the season goes along that you can share. Possibly you can communicate with the player this way and even get a burning question answered now and then (please use good judgement if doing this). The Twins have a social media page at http://minnesota.twi...ex.jsp?c_id=min


That's about it. Check back on this page now and then, as I may think of other tips I have temporarily forgotten. And by all means, PM me with any additional suggestions you may have!

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It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. -- Jonathan Swift

#2 goulik


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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:36 AM

Sometimes seasons come to an end sooner than we hoped. Lightening the mood while informing the masses is ok but always remember to be respectful and grateful to the prospect who is entering a tough period in life. Put a wrap on the season or Twins career, predict what you may see coming next for the young man and we will all wish them well.
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