This is my first year buying the Handbook and I'm loving it! It's perfect for browsing. I don't know what you've done for the layout in the past, but having the pitchers and batters separate and alphabetical is a great format. I can't think of one that would be better.
I had a conversation with my brother over Christmas where he mentioned that in high school, he'd batted against pitcher Tim Shibuya, who is now in the Twins system, though he hadn't heard much about him since. It was worth the price of the book alone to be able to whip it out and read him Shibuya's half-page bio.
I have intentionally not pushed the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook here on Twins Daily very much because I know that a lot of people don't like that.
Honestly, this makes no sense to me--you guys provide so much excellent free content, and people come here definitively because they enjoy your writing, so why wouldn't they want to hear about the products you have for sale? I remember some of the negative reactions last year to the Offseason Handbook advertising in particular, but it would be a travesty if someone who would happily give you their money for your product doesn't know the option is available. I hope you're advertising well enough that everyone who wants to be aware of the Prospect Handbook is, at least.
I've only skimmed and read a small handful of the articles to date, but here are a few of my "asks" for next year's book (more or less in order of priority):
1) This is a book organization thing more than anything, but I liked the 2013 Draft Review after reading it (it was one of the first articles I read)--then wondered why there wasn't anything on the 2013 international signings. Yesterday, I figured out that's basically what "On the Cusp" is, but it might be useful to group these two articles together in future handbooks.
2) Along those lines, I'd love a page or two that simply list (a) the draft order of the Twins' draft picks in the amateur draft (with just name, position, and school of origin with location) and (
the Twins' international signings listed by signing bonus (with just name, position, and country of origin). It's probably somewhat duplicative of the general player sections, but I'd still find it useful as a supplement to Jeremy's summaries of what happened in the draft and international signings, and I could see it being a useful reference page five years down the line, to see where the names making noise came from.
3) I like Sssuperdave's
idea of somehow highlighting or spotlighting the top prospects when they're listed in the general player listings. Maybe just take your listings and denote players as "Consensus Top 10", "Consensus Top 25", and "Consensus Top 40" or something.
4) I have yet to read it, but I'm looking forward to reading Cody's "Anatomy of a Five Tool Player." However, I sometimes listen to Baseball Prospectus's Effectively Wild
podcast and I remember hearing one episode right after Ben Lindbergh went to scout school on how the 20-80 scale is applied to pitchers, and how their tools are examined. It could be nice to incorporate that into such an article in the future.
5) I like maxisagod's
suggestion of outlining how the Twins' organizational structure compares to others. I have no idea what "the Twins not having a SS A ball team" means, and I've just assumed every organization has R-/R+/A-/A+/AA/AAA as their structure. Is that not typical? Or is it typical, but are their divergences? I'd be interested in hearing about that.
6) I also agree with Rosterman
that a little something on the life of a Rookie baller would be worthwhile. Just slot it in after the affiliate year summaries (which I admit I've yet to read), but mainly emphasize how Rookie ball is different from all the other levels. It doesn't need to be a specific "team year in review" so much as an explanation of rookie ball. Personally, I get what most minor league teams are by thinking of them in relation to MLB teams, but Rookie ball seems to be a whole different animal that I just don't know much about.
It's a great product that I'm sure I'll be picking up annually from here on out! Thanks for all your hard work!
Edited by Wookiee of the Year, 31 December 2013 - 08:48 PM.