January 28, 2014
Introducing "Scouting the Draft: Positional Preview Series"
As the start of the amateur baseball season draws near, we will be rolling out a twelve part preview series that introduces many of the key names in play for the 2014 MLB Draft. The series will cover both the high school and collegiate levels, in each case with one piece devoted to the catchers, middle infielders, corner infielders, outfielders, right-handed pitchers, and left-handed pitchers. Yesterday we kicked things off with a look at the high school catchers, touching on twenty total players and providing some thoughts and video on each.
The Positional Preview Series will serve as our mechanism to catch you up with anything you might have missed on the amateur circuit since last June's MLB Draft. While not all encompassing, they should provide a helpful "CliffsNotes" style summary of the big names to know as of the start of the spring season. These twelve pieces will prepare you for the four months of amateur action leading up to June's draft, while also setting the stage for the remainder of our draft coverage to come.
The Dissecting the Draft series will continue this year, but we will be starting earlier in the process and taking a look at a wider variety of topics than last year. As with 2013, we will run a "Shadow Draft", whereby we step into the shoes of an MLB org and make a selection at each of their picks in real time for the first twenty rounds. This project has been running for five years (one at Baseball Prospectus) and provides us with a nice mechanism for testing draft theories and revisiting our draft-time evaluations. For a refresher on the series, here is a link to the introductory piece from 2013.
We will also be producing weekly update pieces similar to the Monday Ten Pack, the weekly minor league summary article that has become a staple of prospect coverage in the industry. The final format is still being ironed out, but expect scouting notes and video -- lots of scouting notes and video.
That brings us to another exciting addition for 2014: our 2014 MLB Draft Video Library. You may remember this item being released at the end of the summer, with periodic updates through the fall. We will be re-releasing over the next three weeks with new updates and lots of added video (we should be up between 150 and 200 videos by the time we re-publish). Make sure to bookmark the library to keep up with updates, but if you forget you should be able to find a link regularly featured in the "blogs" section on the far right of the Baseball Prospectus homepage.
I hope you are as excited as I am to get the 2014 draft coverage off and running. The next positional preview piece will cover high school middle infielders, with the remainder of the publish order as follows: