First Pitch: Pittsburgh Baseball Network Updates

The 10th Anniversary Prospect Guide is shipping!

Many of you who pre-ordered the book have already received a confirmation email, which should contain your tracking information. The tracking information is also attached to your order on the site. I still have about a hundred packages to drop off today, which will complete the pre-order process.

The books are shipping separate from the glasses and shirts. Those arrive next week from a different company, and will begin shipping when we get them in. The glasses were on backorder until mid-February. We received notification that our order could be processed a few weeks ago, and we’re anticipating getting the shipment in the next week.

If you haven’t ordered your version of the Prospect Guide (the Digital version is free!), then head over to the PBN Shop.

Behind the Production Curtain

The book was delayed this year for creative reasons. It underwent a complete re-write, then worked to include the offseason trades. The end result is the best book we’ve ever produced, but two months later than the originally intended release date. The good thing is that the book is ready and shipping in time for the start of the season, and before the minors begins.

The even better thing is that the delay allowed me to get a head start on next year’s book, which will feature two massive projects I’m working on behind the scenes this year. One is related to the story in the book. The other is related to how we grade and evaluate prospects. The latter will be revealed when we finally get to see minor leaguers in action again.

I’ll have some book-related articles in the coming days and weeks, getting geared up for the minor league season.

The original thought with the beer glasses was to have those shipping at the same time as the books. Then, they went on back-order, and it has been a long delayed process. We’re ordering the most popular craft beer glass style from the most popular global vendor for craft breweries in a time when production is massively delayed on a global scale.

We saw some smaller-scale production delays from our printer, who we’ve used for many years, pre-COVID. The turnaround time was about a week longer, as they were short-handed due to limitations on how many people they could have working in the warehouse. That extra week was just a blip when tacked onto the end of the other delays for the book.

I’ve experienced these delays from the consumer side. I ordered one album back in September, knowing it would take months to arrive. We’re now to the point where I expected it to be shipping, and nothing has been said. Some days I forget that I ordered it.

I ordered this particular album to support an independent concert venue, and help them throughout the pandemic. Also, because I really like the music.

Everyone who ordered a book, a beer glass, a shirt, baseball cards, a membership, or any other support in the last year helped us get through the pandemic. It allowed me to work on writing and formatting and then re-writing and re-formatting the book over the offseason. After I finish writing this article, it will allow me to go back to the Luis Oviedo breakdown I’m working on.

I thank everyone for their support in purchasing the Prospect Guide merchandise, but I also sincerely hate that there have been delays in the process, even if I have little to no control over some of those delays.

The silver lining here is that we learned a few lessons that will make the PBN shop run smoother going forward, which will allow PBN to continue operating going forward.

Site Updates

Over the weekend, something broke on the PBN homepage for the latest articles. After a few hours down, it was fixed, and many of you who I spoke with were confirming that. It’s still having an issue for some people, where the Latest Posts won’t show up in Chrome unless you clear your cache for the site.

I’ll be replacing that section today as part of an update to the homepage. I also have a few more projects lined up this week, mostly focused on site design and navigation, but also finally getting Ethan Hullihen’s payroll tracker a proper section on PBN. Look for all of that in the next week, and check back in this section next week for the next batch of updates.

The biggest update this week is the addition of a new contact form on the site. If you have any issues with the site, Contact Us and we’ll work to resolve it as soon as possible.

Upcoming Articles

Last week I set a goal to write one article per day on the site.

Call it a Spring Training as I transition from working on special projects and the future of this site, to getting back in form to analyze the present.

This week, my goal is to get ahead with writing, so that I can start focusing on deeper analysis articles, with more time to write and plan them out. My focus for writing is going to be quality over quantity, but I’m still going to aim to give you quantity. I’m already starting that with a Luis Oviedo article, which I’m aiming to have completed tomorrow. After that I’ll look at the latest trends on Thursday, and I’ve got a player development-focused article on Friday.

We’ve also got another article submission from Jason Gindele that will be going up. You can read his other articles here and here.

In the future, we’ll have our upcoming feature schedule laid out in this spot in every Tuesday’s First Pitch.

Song of the Day

Daily Links

**Game Recap: Pirates’ Hitters Stage Whifforama in Loss to Reds

**Pirates Acquire Right-Handed Pitcher Kyle Keller from Angels; DFA Edgar Santana

**This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: April 5th, Rennie Stennett and the Bill Robinson Trade

**Card of the Day: 1976 Topps Rennie Stennett Record Breaker

**1925 Pirate Replay, August 26: Meadows Shuts Out Boston


First Pitch