Player Cards Bring You More Than Just Numbers




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You may get tired of me writing about all of the improvements to our statistical offerings at BaseballAmerica.com this year, but they're coming so fast and furious that I want to make sure you don't miss anything.

So yes, I realize that we just touched on some of these improvements a couple of issues ago, but our progress has been more significant and more rapid than we had hoped. And the newest change we have implemented goes way beyond statistics.

I've already told you about the changes we made to our Player Cards, with more statistics and better organization, but further improvements now allow subscribers to view scouting reports from players who have appeared in our draft coverage or prospect rankings.

So now when you look Bryce Harper up at BaseballAmerica.com, you not only get to see his career statistics and vitals, but you can also see when he was drafted, when and where he appeared in our prospect rankings, and when he may have appeared in any of our Best Tools surveys.

And if you're a Baseball America subscriber, you can go back and read what we said about him heading into the 2010 draft, or the reports we wrote up when he was the Nationals' top prospect after the 2010 and 2011 seasons, or when he ranked as the top prospect in the low Class A South Atlantic League and Double-A Eastern League last year. You can also view all of Harper's career transactions, in a form that's easier to get to than before.

So really now the statistics are just a fraction of what you get from each Player Card. With Harper, for example, you'll find about 2,000 words worth of scouting information in addition to the numbers.

This adds significant value to the Player Cards and to a Baseball America subscription, as you now essentially have access to everything we've written about any player ranked in a Top 30 for the Prospect Handbook, in a Top 20 for a minor league prospect ranking, or a significant draft player over the last 10 years.

We will continue to backfill with more scouting reports, but we already have essentially the entire history of the Prospect Handbook in the database, which should blow your mind if you think about it long enough. If that's not enough, then surely thinking that every minor league Top 20 going back to 2002 is at your fingertips will do it.

Still not enough? The whole of draft history is in there, with our scouting reports going back to 2006 (we're working on getting the scouting reports from 1999-2005 added). Come on, this is amazing!

Repository For History

The next step—aside from putting in even more scouting reports—is to take all the amazing content we have generated on any average day at Baseball America and get that into the database.

That Scout's View we did on Pedro Alvarez earlier this spring that angered everyone in Pittsburgh (including Alvarez, apparently)? You should be able to read that when you go to his Player Card. Essentially when you view a Player Card, we want the statistics to be just a piece of what you can find. It should really become the repository of all the collected knowledge we have about a player over time.

So now we begin the process of identifying all of that content so that it can be attached to specific players and you can find it whenever you like. We'll also associate all this information with specific organizations, so that eventually you'll be able to view our site based on your favorite team. I like to think that you devour every masterful word we write, but I know that isn't always the case. So we're working to make it easier to find the information you want most.

We should make even more progress this summer with our annual influx of interns. And if you have ideas about things you'd like to see in the database, don't hesitate to drop me a line at willlingo@baseballamerica.com and we'll give it a look.

When we come up with all these great ideas, it falls to technology manager Brent Lewis and technology assistant Tim Collins to actually execute them, and they have done yeoman's work in recent months. Tim in particular has made the Player Cards a personal mission, and it shows in how good they are now. Stop by the site and see for yourself.