Scouting for books

I love this time of year. And it’s certainly not because of the endless amounts of snow we’re getting these days in Pittsburgh.

A big part of it, of course, is that pitchers and catchers are reporting very soon. Another is that it’s a wonderful time to stock the bookshelves anew with this year’s group of prospect-related volumes. There are some of the usual must-haves, some interesting team-related tomes to consider and even a techno-savvy publication that would have to go on your virtual shelf, rather than the real one.

So, without further ado, here are some literary highlights to consider:

1. Baseball America Prospect Handbook. If you don’t know this one, you shouldn’t bother reading on, really. Top 30 prospects for all 30 organizations, it doesn’t get more in depth than that. Throw in some great rankings and other features and this is a must-have.

2. The Baseball Prospect Book 2010. This annual by John Sickels (check out his blog, Minor League Ball). He always does good work with this publication and once again, it’s chock full o’ information. This year’s edition has 1170 players in it, the most he’s ever covered and he’s starting to wrinkle in some of the new-fangled statistical metrics.

3. Project Prospect’s Digital Prospect Guide.  Going all-electronic, with no printed publication, the folks at Project Prospect have a very cool product on their hands. It’s got lots of analysis with the added benefit of video. You can pre-order it now. If you want to check out what this thing looks like, there’s an overall preview of the guide, as well as some video of some guy named Stephen Strasburg to check out.

4. Minor League Baseball Analyst 2010. From the good folks at Baseball HQ, this book has always been an interesting mix of fantasy baseball, scouting and statistical analysis. Originally written by Deric McKamey, he’s moved on and is now scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals. This year’s edition is brought to you by Rob Gordon and Jeremy Deloney, with information on more than 1000 minor leaguers in its pages.

And some team-centric works:

1. The Newberg Report. All bloggers/team site operators could very well use this as a 2010c.jpgmodel if they’re interested in writing a book about their team. Jamey Newberg‘s work is always top-notch and this year’s bound edition is no different. Tons of original content, lots of stuff on prospects from arguably the best farm system in baseball and a great package of stuff Jamey wrote over the 2009 season makes TNR a book even non-Ranger fans would enjoy.

2. Minesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook. From Seth Stohs, coer image.jpgauthor of the terrific Twins site,, has his new prospect guide ready for pre-order. This year’s version has over 150 prospect profiles as well as a bunch of original features and tons of photos to peruse. The Twins for years have been top-notch at building from within and I don’t know if there are many people who know more about Minnesota’s farm system than Seth does.

3. Cleveland Indians 2010 Top 100 Prospects. If you don’t know Tony Lastoria’s work at TopProspects2010_frontcopy2.jpgIndians Prospect Insider, you should. He’s got that system covered extermely well and this year’s book has over 165 scouting reports in it, tons of photos, draft reviews, you name it.

Obviously, these aren’t the only prospect-related offerings out there. I love showing a cross-section of “professional” works out there as well as highlighting the fan-site/blogger publications. If there are good ones out there I’m forgetting, be sure to let me know about them in comments. 


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