With pitchers and catchers having their first official workout today, Spring Training for the Rays is officially underway. It may still feel like winter in all non-Florida parts of the country, but somehow the cold feels a little less harsh knowing that there's baseball being played somewhere. The off-season is finally over; the worst of winter has passed. Spring is coming.
And now that baseball season is close to starting, it's about time we gave you more details on our off-season publication The Process Report 2011. As we mentioned earlier this off-season, this publication is going to be very different from the old DRaysBay Annuals. Here's a brief look at the content you'll find inside:
- Forward by Jonah Keri: Jonah doesn't need any introduction: he's only written at every publication under the sun and is releasing his book on the Rays (The Extra 2%) in a couple weeks. He was gracious enough to write a forward for us, and I think everyone will really enjoy it.
- Around 8-10 Chapters: There's a small list of writers involved this year, as the work involved in editing, formatting, and figuring out publication details was complicated enough. The full writing roster consists of Tommy Rancel, Jason Collette, R.J. Anderson, Bradley Woodrum, Nick Macaluso, and myself, and we're also having a few guest pieces from other A.L. East bloggers. Topics range all over the place, from comparing Branch Rickey and Andrew Friedman to evaluating Jim Hickey's contributions to our pitching staff to determining how Joe Maddon might defend against Carl Crawford.
- 40+ Player Profiles: This is the heart of TPR11: our player profiles. While in the DRB Annuals, the player profiles would be a paragraph long and briefly describe the player, we've took out all the stops and made TPR11 an in-depth scouting report. We cover every player on the Rays' 40-man roster and many other minor league players of interest, giving them each a one-page profile that covers their strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and well...basically anything that you might need to make you a more informed viewer. For example, with pitchers we discuss details like what pitches they throw, how they attack lefty and righty batters, what's their out-pitch, and how they could improve in 2011. For batters, we look at things like if they're a pull or push hitter, where they typically generate their power, and if there are any pitches (or type of pitcher) that they have trouble with.
We wrote the player profiles hoping that they would serve as reference guides that could last the entire season. This way, if you're ever watching a game and want to know a bit more about a particular player's pitching or hitting tendencies, you know exactly where to look.
- Focus on Analysis, Not Stats: While all of us writers are obviously big on advanced statistics, we've come to the realization that you can write insightful pieces of analysis without overloading readers with acronyms they may not understand: wOBA, FIP, WAR, yadda yadda. All of our analysis in TPR11 is based on our knowledge of advanced statistics, but in our writing we rely on statistics that everyone already knows: OBP, SLG, ERA, etc. We hope this makes our writing easier for new people to access, while still providing everyone with the same great analysis that you're used to from us.
- Nifty Graphics: Not only will this publication house never-before-seen graphics created by Josh Frank, but he's also taking the time to format every single one of our articles and player profiles. We've edited this baby within an inch of her life, and Josh is helping us go the final step to making TPR11 look professional. He's doing yeoman's work, so many thanks to Josh for all his help.
All the content for TPR11 is currently edited and submitted for formatting (have fun Josh!), so we hope to have TPR11 available for purchase in mid-March. Prices will be $9.80 for an online/eBook version (9=8, get it?) and $14.80 for a print edition, although these prices could flux depending on final publication details. This is our one piece of content all year that we're not providing for free, so if you enjoy the work we do at DRaysBay and at The Process Report, we'd really appreciate the support.
And now, let the Spring Training fun begin!