also available at www.SethSpeaks.net –
Before I discuss the book, two quick notes:
- I’ll be on the Nine to Noon Show with Paul Allen on KFAN and KFAN.com. Lots of Twins topics to discuss.
- Congratulations to Dan Hammer who will be returning to TV to become the Sports Director for Valley News Live in Fargo. I appreciate him having me as a guest frequently on The Dan Hammer Show on 740 The Fan, and wish him success in this transition.
Following the 2008 season, a reader of this site sent me an e-mail saying I needed to do something in the offseason, something to make writing so much for free throughout the regular season worthwhile. It was an interesting thought, but what could I do? The area of Twins baseball that I enjoy following the most because of its uncertain, non-scientific nature is the minor league system. I already researched players for my bi-annual Top 50 Prospect Lists and really enjoyed that. How difficult could it be to research another bunch of Twins prospects. And then I realized out loud that there are over 150 minor leaguers in the system at any one time. And that if you want a decent prospect book, it can’t contain just stats that anyone can find online. I read stats. I read box scores every day. But with minor leaguers, stats are a small part of the story. It’s about projection, and it’s about scouting reports as well. It’s about hearing stories. It’s about hearing from a variety of people in and around the organization and elsewhere.
In November of 2008, I made the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009 available through LuLu.com. It was fun to put together. It was almost 90 pages. It was fun to do pre-orders and be able to sign a bunch of copies and mail them out. The book was solid, but it was just a starting point.
Last year, mlb.com’s Jonathan Mayo and I worked together to improve the first edition. We put together Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2010. There was a colored cover, and even pictures inside. There were a few stories and more lists, and it was a book that I was incredibly proud of. Sales, on the other hand, actually decreased despite the fact that it was such a better product. The profiles were much more detailed and clean. It was a book that I thought was terrific. We were closer to 120 pages and all made sense.
This year, I set out to create another prospect handbook on my own again. I set out to make a bigger and better book. Well, within a very short time, a bigger Twins prospect handbook will be available. I will let you determine if it is better.
Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2011
As of now, I will begin accepting pre-orders for the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2011. The price for the (bigger!) 167 page book will be set at $13.95 (same as last year). Before getting to the Pre-Order process, let me give you the bullet point version of what you can expect to find inside the book’s pages.
- First of all, a huge thank you to Brian Henricksen who took a lot of pictures in New Britain the last few years and created what I believe to be a very cool cover for this year’s book. See it on the right, let me know what you think.
- An article on the Rochester Red Wings by Josh Whetzel, their radio and TV play-by-play guy since 2003.
- An article on New Britain Stadium by Jeff Dooley, the team’s Direct of Broadcasting and their play-by-play guy on the radio.
- An article on the Ft. Myers Miracle by their play-by-play broadcaster Alex Margulies.
- An article on the Beloit Snappers by Jeff Vohs, the team’s General Manager.
- Over 160 profiles of Twins minor leaguers including my choices for the Top 5 Prospects in the Dominican Summer League.
- From Top Prospect Kyle Gibson to Roy Larson, a University of St. Thomas grad signed by the Twins after the season.
- From Brett Jacobson (acquired in the JJ Hardy trade) to Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond.
- Q&A with Danny Valencia: Major Leaguer – an interview with Valencia after his rookie season came to an end.
- Interviews with Minor League Player of the Year, Joe Benson, and Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Kyle Gibson.
- Stories from the 2010 Draft – article on the Twins draft and what stories on five of the players that the Twins selected.
- Nate Hanson: Minnesota’s Own – I wrote an article Chaska native and former Gopher Nate Hanson who had a nice breakout season in Ft. Myers in 2010.
- Winning vs Development – an essay by Twins Minor League Weekly co-host Travis Aune (Travis Twins Talk).
- In the Right Direction – by Josh Johnson (Josh’s Thoughts) – an article on the progress made in 2011 by Twins 1B prospect Chris Parmelee.
- Lists and Rankings – includes Top 10 lists from many of your favorite Twins minor league bloggers and other experts.
- Includes my Top 30 Prospects for 2011, and looks back and my Top 30s from the past 5 years.
Obviously the meat and potatoes are the key to the entire book. I’ve been following the Twins minor leagues for the last six or seven years. Over the past years, I’ve been fortunate to gain several contacts which has really helped fuel my interest in minor league baseball and the Twins system. The fact is that when the Twins had a $65 million payroll, they built from within with a strong farm system. Even now, with a $115 million payroll, that philosophy doesn’t, and shouldn’t, change. We are seeing that now, as the Twins have lost five free agent relief pitchers and seem content to trust the arms that have developed in their minor league system or other younger players they have received in trades.
I like to consider this a Must-Have for a Twins fan. I envision it sitting on your coffee tables, so any time that the radio or TV announcers mention a Twins minor leaguer, you can learn more about them. Impress your friends and family with your incredible knowledge of the players throughout the Twins system. Will all 160 prospects get to the big leagues? Of course not, but I believe that they all deserve to be recognized. As I’ve included in all three Prospect Handbooks:
Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too!
If you are interested in ordering your copy(ies) of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2011, I will be taking pre-orders through Friday night. (The pre-orders will be available for US mailing addresses only. I learned last year how much international shipping can be, and you’ll find that you can get it for a better overall price through the site when it is available.)
- PAYPAL – If you have a Paypal account, the best way to preorder the book is to go to Paypal.com and “Send Money” to my e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please send $14.95 to help pay a portion of the shipping cost.
- If you do not have a Paypal account, please e-mail me and we can discuss options.
I want to make ordering it as easy as possible. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or leave your comments here.