Today is my favorite day of the year: the day I’m done with all my work on my annual baseball preview.
I’ve written these baseball previews every year going back to seventh grade, and after 10 years, this will be my last preview as I head off into the real world (yikes).
This season’s preview is 35 pages with all the usual analysis, scouting reports, and advanced stats along with breathtaking design from Microsoft Word. As always, the preview is 100 percent free, so feel free to pass it along to a friend or two or twelve.
It’s been a pleasure writing the past 10 years, and I’ll really miss writing these, although I won’t miss the sleepless nights.
Ten years ago, my first preview had David Ortiz on the cover, and I correctly picked the Red Sox to win the World Series. Fitting, then, that my final preview also features David Ortiz on the cover.
Did I pick the Red Sox to win the World Series again? Go find out for yourself.
My 2015 Baseball Preview is finally here just in time for the season to start. The Cubs host the Cardinals tomorrow night, so this is your chance to read up on the season ahead before the first pitch is thrown.
This year’s edition comes in at 67 pages with all the usual analysis, advanced stats, and scouting reports you’ve seen in past years. And as always, the preview is absolutely free, although I do accept Venmo payments and free food.
This preview has a focus for each team on how to build a championship team. In each team’s section, I look at how they were built, why they made the decisions they’ve made, and how they will move forward.
Finally, thank you so much for reading my preview (or at least giving me a page click). It took a lot of sleepless nights, but I’ve truly enjoyed working on this for the past five months.
I hope you enjoy perusing it, and I hope your team does well this year.
I didn’t quite beat the first game of the season because Major League Baseball scheduled the Dodgers and Diamondbacks to play in Australia eight days before any other team plays, but here’s my 2014 Baseball Preview in all its glory.
This year’s edition is 70 pages long, almost double last year’s 38-page preview. There are some other changes from last year’s preview that I talk about in the introduction, but I figure most people are just going to skip to their favorite team, so I’ll just go ahead and explain them here. Then again, there’s a good chance you’ve already opened the preview and headed straight towards your favorite team.
The 2014 Baseball Preview uses a lot more statistics than past previews have, so I’ve included an in-depth glossary for sabermetric terms just three pages into the preview. You should probably read that if you want to fully understand each team’s capsule.
I’m also excited to say that the preview focuses heavily on a retrospective analysis of wins system (RAWS) I’ve created that helps explain how well teams actually did the year before. There’s a big ol’ explanation of how RAWS works and what it means with all the data laid out.
Additionally, I got a good deal of front office input from different front team executives and scouts across Major League Baseball, so that will bring another perspective into this preview.
Finally, thank you so much for reading my preview. I put in over five months of work on this, and it’s my favorite project of the year. For the eighth year in a row, I won’t be charging anything for my baseball preview, but I’d appreciate it if you sent it along to a friend or two or twenty.
In case you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a while, it’s because I’ve been busy finishing up my 2014 Baseball Preview. And school, of course. That.
In the mean time though, I’m releasing a sneak peak of the preview, which should come in around 70 pages this year. Just like the last three years, I’m releasing my top 50 prospect list with scouting reports for each player. The actual preview will feature top 10 lists for each team–as always–along with individual grades
I’m not sure yet if the preview will be out by the 22nd, when the Dodgers and Diamondbacks play two games in Sydney, Australia, but it will definitely be out in advanced of Opening Night on the 31st. Until then, enjoy looking at the future stars of baseball. There’s some hope for you, Astros, Twins, and Cubs fans.
- 29 players return from last year’s top 50 prospects list, three more than last year.
- 13 players graduated to the majors.
- 9 players fell off the top 50 list from last year, and the three highest-rated ones were Red Sox or Yankees.
- Of the 21 new players to the list, 7 were selected in the 2013 draft.
- 12 of the top prospects were taken in the first round of the 2012 draft, the most among any draft.
- Only six of the 41 players who were drafted were taken outside the first round: Tyler Glasnow (5th round), Joc Pederson (11th), Garin Cecchini (4th), Jonathan Singleton (8th), Austin Hedges (2nd), and Billy Hamilton (2nd round).
- Just like Jurickson Profar made the leap from 9 to 1 last season, Byron Buxton went from 9 to 1 this year. Taijuan Walker probably won’t make the leap next year because he’ll almost certainly lose his rookie eligibility.
- Javier Baez made the biggest jump, going from 27 to 4.
- Despite the fact that they are technically rookies, I did not include Masahiro Tanaka or Jose Abreu because they’ve already played in professional leagues for several years.
- 2 Catchers
- 1 First Baseman
- 5 Third Basemen
- 7 Shortstops
- 9 Center Fielders
- 2 Right Fielders
- 21 Right-Handed Pitchers
- 3 Left-Handed Pitchers
- The Astros, Cubs, Pirates, and Red Sox each had four players.
- The Dodgers, Indians, Orioles, Royals, and Twins each had three players.
- The Mets, Reds, and Rockies each had two players.
- The Athletics, Blue Jays, Braves, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Giants, Mariners, Marlins, Nationals, Padres, Phillies, Rays, and Tigers, each had one players
- The Angels, Brewers, Rangers, White Sox, and Yankees need a better farm systems.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: October. We have the baseball playoffs, football is in full swing, college football is heating up, and the NBA is about to begin. Oh, and the Red Sox are back in the World Series.
Unfortunately for Jackson, the Red Sox are in the World Series. Fortunately for me, they are. Add those together you get to look forward to a nice clash of excited optimism and snark.
And finally, before I send you off to read the article over on Jackson’s site, how can you not root for the Red Sox after Koji Uehara’s kid Kaz’s interview?
I write about sports a lot, and I occasionally forget to post my articles. Here’s your place to find all the articles I didn’t post from the past two months.
Friday, October 11
Jackson and I go head-to-head in round two of our baseball playoffs preview. I don’t brag too much about beating him 4-0 last week.
Tuesday, October 8
I write a column that Vanderbilt fans won’t like about why James Franklin should go to USC if he gets a job offer. I got a nice endorsement from commenter bill cherry: “What a great article from a Vandy STUDENT news source….a bunch of big freaking nerds.”
Tuesday, October 1
Without Zac Stacy, the Commodores don’t have one feature back and are instead going with a three-headed running attack. Here’s your guide to what is going on in Nashville.
Tuesday, October 1
I covered my first Vanderbilt football game from the press box, and the Commodores won 52-24 against UAB. That bodes well for the Georgia game I’m covering next week, right?
Tuesday, September 17
Vanderbilt landed its second four-star recruit in shooting guard Matthew Fisher-Davis, who went to my rival high school, Charlotte Christian. They’re on pace to have their strongest recruiting class since 2011.
Tuesday, September 3
Ah, the first in a series of weekly news and notes from the Monday football press conferences. A series that lasted one week.
It’s a day late, but I wrote a preview of the first round of the MLB playoffs with good friend and fellow Russell-Rice scholar Jackson Martin of the Dirty South Sports Report. As you’ll see in the intro, we would’ve gotten the article out earlier, but some school-related issues came up.
If you’re a fan of one of the playoff teams, you’ll be happy to see that we disagree on every single series. That tends to happen when we talk sports.
Instead of copying the whole thing here and editing the introduction, I’ll just send you to his site, which has some great stuff that I haven’t helped with.
Stay tuned as the playoffs progress, where there definitely won’t be any gloating about who picked series better.
(Ha, the Red Sox won Game 1 by 10.)