BA’s First Ever Fantasy Guide Is Nearly Here

Sorry, fantasy players. Your secret is no longer safe.

We know that the best fantasy baseball competitors read Baseball America. They tell us so, and it makes sense. To win in fantasy, you have to get to good players before your opponents, and one of the best ways to do that is to find out about them before they get to the major leagues.

Writing about up-and-coming players has been Baseball America’s bread and butter since we started doing this in 1981 as a humble monthly tabloid. It remains the core of our DNA now that we have added to our (now biweekly) publication with books and the Web. Smart fantasy players saw value in this, even though we don’t often put a specific fantasy spin on what we write.

Well, that changes now, as we bring our point of view to the fantasy game. The first Baseball America Fantasy Guide hits newsstands on Jan. 8—with none other than Mike Trout on the cover—and we think you’ll like what you see.

First and foremost, this is a magazine that can get you ready for your fantasy season, with everything you expect to find in a preview publication. But we think you’ll find it also features a uniquely Baseball America perspective, with scouting information and plenty of prospects.

The Same, But Different

The magazine also features the quality writing you have come to expect from Baseball America, writing that is entertaining and authoritative.

My earliest fantasy baseball memories are reading the original Rotisserie League Baseball books, which were as memorable for their writing as they were for any of the rankings of the players. I don’t think anyone will ever recapture the magic of those books, but I hope we at least worked in that spirit.

To that end, I hope you won’t fret if we have your favorite second baseman ranked four spots lower than you think he should rank.

For one thing, everyone’s rankings are going to be different, based on personal biases, and no general ranking of players is going to be applicable to all the different league scoring and roster rules.

For another, to get the magazine to newsstands in time for people to pick it up and read it before their drafts, it had to go to press in December. A lot will change in the three and a half months between the close of the magazine and Opening Day. The day after we went to press, for example, the Diamondbacks, Indians and Reds worked out their trade centered around Trevor Bauer and Shin-Soo Choo, which alters the outlook for several players.

The information that forms the foundation of our writeups about those players remains valid, however, and my hope is that the words and numbers, taken together, help you make an informed decision about a player, regardless of the number beside his name. If that happens, then our work will not have been in vain.

And what a lot of work it was. Thanks are due to BA’s editorial staff and our writing and photo contributors, and in particular to Tim Collins, who developed the statistical projections for the magazine, and design director Sara McDaniel, who took this magazine from a blank slate to what I think is the best-looking fantasy magazine on the market in year one.

What I wanted the Fantasy Guide to be was something that looked and read like a Baseball America publication, but also looked and read like something a bit different than anything you had seen from us before, and I think we were able to accomplish that. I’m sure we’ll continue to make the magazine even better in coming years, as we strive to do with all of our products, and to that end I would love to hear from you about what you would like to see in future editions.

The Fantasy Guide is the first of several new things you’ll see from Baseball America in 2013, with a redesigned the next big item on the list. (Please hold your applause.) I’m not foolish enough to try to predict a precise date that we’re going to roll out the new look, but we do expect you to see it before the season begins.

We hope the changes keep with a similar theme, to continue to bring you the best baseball information, while finding new and better ways for you to enjoy it.