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SoxProspects News

August 15, 2011 at 8:57 PM

The Basics of SoxProspects.com

Today, August 15, the MLB draft signing deadline, represents one of our busiest days of the year here at SoxProspects.com. Because of that, we felt today was a great opportunity to present to you the Basics of SoxProspects.com. Simply, there is a wealth of information here on the site – at least, we like to think so. In fact, there’s enough stuff here that even us grizzled veterans sometimes forget about some of it from time to time. Below, you will find a SoxProspects primer of sorts, both for those new to the site and those who have been with us for years. We hope you find it useful. Thanks for visiting the site, and happy reading!

The Main Site, SoxProspects.com
The bulk of the information contained here could be considered the “main site.” This is where you’ll find the rankings, player profiles, and other basic information.

These pages contain the website’s top 60 prospect ranking, plus the site’s ranking of the system’s “Post Prospects” – players who no longer qualify for the prospect ranking list. Each player’s entry contains stats for that player, a link to any recent stories about that player, and a link to his profile page.

These pages, like many others on the site, contain widgets to the top headlines from the News Page, recent threads on the Message Board, and the most recent Twitter updates from the SoxProspects.com staff. They also contain our social network link bar, which has links to SoxProspects on Twitter and Facebook, our RSS feed, and our YouTube channel, a link to join the SoxProspects Forum, and a link to donate to SoxProspects.com. The owners of the website have never taken a cent of profit for working on it, and reader donations have allowed us to expand our scouting to spring training, the Fall Instructional League, and all levels of the system.

These are the lifeblood of the website. On each player page, you will find a detailed scouting report, basic information, the player’s career stats, links to features about them from the News Page, award and contract/service time information, and in some cases, MLB player comparisons. These profiles comprise much of the knowledge that the website has to offer. They are updated relatively regularly as our scouting opinion of the player changes by our scouting staff.

The Rankings History page shows the site’s top 20 prospects in the preseason, at midseason, and at the end of the season, from its inception in 2003 to the present. If you are looking for a more in-depth look at the weekly rankings changes, SoxProspects Statistician Dick Duggan keeps tabs on those in the SP Meta Forum.

The Team Rosters page gives an up-to-date look at the roster for each team in the Red Sox system, giving the starting lineup, rotation, bullpen, bench, and inactive players on each squad. The page is also your link to the profile page for each player currently in the system.

This page gives a glance at the players on the Red Sox 40-man roster, how they were acquired, their contract situation, their approximate service time, and their number of options remaining.

Want a look into the future? The Projected Rosters page takes a rough look at how the rosters for each of the affiliates may look next season, including which current players could be fighting for spots next year.

The navigation bar provides a link to the rosters at the beginning of the current season or end of the most recent season, depending on the time of year. However, links to the season-starting and –ending rosters for each club going back to 2007 can be found on the respective years’ Transactions pages.

This page is a link to the profiles of players no longer with the Red Sox. It is split into three sections: active players who were original Red Sox signees, active players who played in the Red Sox farm system but were not original Sox signees, and inactive ex-players. A recent addition to this page is a notation of each player’s highest ranking on the site’s top 60.

SoxProspects Database Engineer Mike Reynolds maintains detailed stats pages that are updated daily during the season dating back to 2007. Visitors to these pages can filter statistics by team, minimum plate appearances/innings pitched, home/away, vs. right-handed and left-handed pitchers/batters, by month, and more!

Reynolds also keeps standings and schedule pages for each of the Sox’ affiliates dating back to 2005. You will note that these pages contain the Sox’ affiliates at the time, so the 2007 pages, for example, have the Lancaster JetHawks’ schedule and California League standings.

Wondering if Portland is going to get its game in tonight? Want to know what kind of heat the Greenville kids are playing in? Check here for weather reports for each of the affiliates, from Boston down to Lowell.

The Injury Report, updated regularly by Affiliate Correspondent Jonathan Singer, gives you the breakdown on the injured players in the system, their maladies, when they last played, details about the injury, and their estimated return date. This page recently added a section for players on the Restricted List.

We keep detailed transactions logs dating back to October 2003 for every team in the system. Although we report on the major transactions, promotions, and the like on the News Page, we don’t write on every minute transaction. Look here to see what’s been going down lately.

Our Draft History pages detail each Red Sox draft pick dating back to 1993, and whether that player signed, is still with the organization, and/or made the major leagues. The same goes for undrafted free agents who signed with the Red Sox in 2000 or later. We also list noteworthy picks by the club between 1965 to 1992. The Rule 5 Draft page lists the Red Sox’ comings and goings at that yearly event, and the International Signings page shows the club’s activity on that front dating back to 2004, plus notable signings back to 1992.

One use of the most recent draft’s page in this section, between the June draft and the August signing deadline, is to get a glimpse at who has signed so far, as it is updated with each signing.

The Unsigned Picks page is a companion to these pages, listing the club’s unsigned picks dating back to 2003. If you ever wonder what happened to the team’s 40th-round pick in 2004, go here. (That pick would actually be Terry Francona’s son, Nick. He’s not playing baseball.)

Reading the website not enough for you? Want to take us with you in your iPod or listen to us while you pretend to work? Check out the podcast archive for all of our entries into the world of podcasting. Note that you can also subscribe to us on iTunes!

Here’s where you can find miscellany about the site itself – information about the staff, some information about how we grade and rank prospects, and more. We also have photos of the site’s brass there. Sorry about that.

This is pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve never seen this page, new visitor or grizzled site veteran, you should probably check it out.

If you can’t figure out how to navigate to a page, go here. This page has a link to every high-level page on the site.

Some other sites you’ll probably like.

SoxProspects News
Our news page! This is a page to check daily, add to your RSS reader, etc. At present, it is home to a number of regular features, some of which we will detail below, the latest news on transactions, system notes, interviews, awards, links to new podcasts, and more. We are planning to expand this part of the site to contain more analysis in the future, so keep an eye out for that!

Fresh brewed every morning, a recap at how the affiliates fared the day before.

SoxProspects Scouting Director Chris Mellen’s detailed analysis of each player is must-read material for prospect followers. Stats only tell us so much; check these out to find out what we’re seeing and hearing on the players in the system.

In recent years, we have expanded our geographic reach and been able to talk to players throughout the system face-to-face, from Fort Myers to Pawtucket. We also interview local potential draft picks during our draft preview period.

We recently began trying to incorporate more than game recaps and scouting reports, to tell the stories of the players in the system. When a staff member catches a game, we often file a First-Hand Report. Look for these to expand in the future.

Site President Mike Andrews writes a weekly piece for ESPN Boston’s Red Sox blog. We link to those stories on the News Page as well.

SoxProspects Wiki
The Wiki is a treasure trove of information – don’t neglect it! It has everything from minutia on players in the organization (lists for Rule 5 and minor league free agency eligibility, options remaining, service time, trade restrictions, our Age Advancement Scale), each of the teams in the system and their respective leagues, the amateur draft, information and history of the Red Sox organization and its minor league system, and archives of various top prospect lists throughout baseball, player development contracts for each team in the minors, and more. With respect to this site, we keep our lists of weekly, monthly, and yearly award winners, our yearly calendar, and our history.

Perhaps the golden egg in all this information is our breakdown of the Major League Rules, which govern organized baseball off the field. Wonder what exactly the rule about disabled lists says? Go here.

Last, but by no means least, is our Forum. A community of posters ranging from incredibly knowledgeable about the system to those just starting to follow gathers here to discuss the various goings on within the system and without.

The “main forum” is where most of the action is.
-- Gameday Threads
We have minor league gameday threads each day, and Boston gameday threads by series. Come in here to discuss the events of that night’s contests.
-- The Pitching Probables Thread
Moderator Amfox maintains these threads, which show the week’s pitching probables for the American affilates, as well as each team’s spot in the standings and, when applicable, the playoff chase.
-- Player of the Week Voting
Each week, the community votes on the best hitter and pitcher in the system over the prior seven days. For their efforts, winners receive a spot on the Wiki. Clearly, it’s a prestigious honor.

Get out to a game recently and get some great photos or video? Post links to them here!

Introduce yourself, let us know about yourself, then enter the fray.

The place for discussion of things related to the site itself – the rankings, award voting, projections, etc. This is the home of Dick Duggan’s rankings histories as well.

Hey, we’re not perfect. Tell us how we screwed up here if you catch something.

If you’ve got a post that starts with “I know this sounds crazy, but what if the Sox traded X for Y?” it goes here.

The place to post polls.

This forum has expanded beyond Boston, but talk about other sports here.

Music, television, politics, kittens – anything is fair game.

Where we put old threads in wooden casks to age and be enjoyed at a later date.