First Pitch: Day Twenty Eight – Pirates Prospects

I temporarily shut down Pirates Prospects in 2020 to open Pittsburgh Baseball Network.

The site returned this summer, exactly one year after it closed down, now part of PBN. I now had two websites with different focuses on the Pirates. The addition of PBN, and the blog you’re on right now, No Quarter, allowed Pirates Prospects to take a brand new direction.

Next Tuesday, January 4th, will be the first week of that new direction.

Pirates Prospects will transition to a weekly digital magazine format next week. Every Tuesday at midnight, we will release a new batch of articles. These article drops will include anywhere from 7-10 features each week, and even more once minor league baseball returns. The first Tuesday of every month will be our “big issue”, with our biggest feature of the month.

We already have eight articles set for next week, highlighted by our first “big issue” feature.

The change in this approach won’t really reduce the amount of features compared to what we’ve had in the past. Instead, it will give more flexibility.

For us, it allows us to tell an entire story at once, without having to worry about other news outlets picking up on the feature after one day. In the past, I’ve had a series of articles lined up, set to release the traditional way of one per day. By the second day, my series of articles was no longer an exclusive topic. By the third day, I may have been scooped by someone else on my topic that day, on my own story that was exclusive to me on day one.

I mentioned a week ago about how I held back my story on the Pirates and their individualized development approach. I’ve had everything I’ve needed for a series of features that would fill an entire week of daily articles ever since going on the road in early September. I held it back for a few weeks as I decided how I wanted to write the series. Then, I decided to wait longer, and see if anyone else would get the story.

Three months later, Jason Mackey wrote a story on the topic after covering the minor league pitching camp in Bradenton. Eventually, someone would write it. And, as I suspected, my article would be a completely different angle than anyone else would take, which is just commentary on how much there is for every reporter to cover, even beyond Pirates Prospects.

The main priority for Jason and every other Pirates reporter is the MLB team (when there’s no lockout). My main priority is the minor league system. The big league writers have been focusing a lot more on the minors in recent years as popularity has picked up, and I’m glad to see that. Again, there’s plenty to cover for everyone. Since the farm system is our primary focus, we’re always going to have a lot of exclusive information, and stories that go deeper than other outlets.

The new approach will allow us to feature all of that. It will allow us to completely own our exclusive stories, and write them collectively as a series.

This new approach will allow you to choose when you want to read our features. Don’t have time to check the site everyday? Maybe you want to read more than one feature a day. Either way, you’ll get all of our features for the week at midnight every Tuesday, and it’s up to you when you want to read them.

Binge them, if you wish.

The only thing you’ll need to access the articles is a Pirates Prospects subscription. Our new subscription software will go up next week, and you’ll be able to purchase a subscription if you don’t have one. The first week of our digital magazine approach will have a free preview period for those who aren’t currently subscribers.

I’m really excited to be able to do this new format. I’ve been planning this out for about two years, trying to figure out how everything would work with the addition of PBN. I’m especially looking forward to the first article drop next week.

**Walk With a Big Stick: Stephen Alemais Working On a New Swing Pattern

Cody Potanko writes his debut article for Pirates Prospects, looking at Stephen Alemais and the hitting adjustments he has been making this offseason.

**Wipeout Slider Makes Justin Meis a Relief Prospect To Watch in 2022

ICYMI, Anthony Murphy made his debut on Pirates Prospects with a nice look at 2021 10th round pick Justin Meis and his slider.

It’s not a coincidence that Cody and Anthony just joined the site. Both will be contributing weekly player features under the new digital magazine format.

**PBN Around the Horn: What the Pirates’ Resolution List Should Look Like

Cody Potanko looks at five things the Pirates should do in the new year, when baseball eventually returns.

**Which Pirates Relievers Could Improve in 2022?

Jason Gindele looks at xERA to see which Pittsburgh Pirates relievers might improve in 2022. You know, assuming there is a 2022.

**This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: December 28th, John Milner, Zane Smith and the Kluszewski Trade

December 28th marked the birth dates on pitcher Zane Smith, who was a member of the Pirates playoff teams of the early 90s and John Milner, a member of the 1979 World Series champs. There’s also a significant trade with the Cincinnati Reds from 1957.

**Card of the Day: 1979 Topps Pirates Prospects, Berra/Cotes/Wiltbank

John Dreker takes a look at the rookie card of Dale Berra, along with two prospects who didn’t make it to the majors. One of those players, Benjamin Wiltbank, had a long career involved in baseball before he passed away earlier this month.

PBN Updates

First Pitch: PRE-SALE for The 2022 Guide and The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys Books

Song of the Day

“From dry land
He rolled it over to wet sand
Closed the hatch up with one hand
And peddled off alone

Cause when you’re done with this world
You know the next is up to you”

First Pitch Topic of the Day



WEDNESDAY: Site Updates

THURSDAY: Marvel/Comics – Tomorrow is my Spider-Man: No Way Home review. There will be spoilers.

FRIDAY: Debate – This week’s debate topic has already been discussed on the site a bit this week.

SATURDAY: Music – Saturday will have my full top albums and songs of 2021.


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