Welcome to the start of draft coverage for the 2014 MLB Draft here at Minor League Ball. I hope to be one of your favorite stops for draft information and while I may not get 500 reports up like some of the other sites, I intend to give you good information on the players that you need to know about to be excited for the draft. I'm only one man, and while I have good contacts across the country, they aren't on my staff, so they don't write the reports for me.
Since this process is fluid and rankings and feelings on players will change between now and June 5th, consider this more of an introduction than a final judgment on these players. In reality, these guys won't be in a Baseball Prospect Book for another year. This is a place to start the conversation. While I have a strong feeling about many of the best players in the draft next year, things can change and players can improve or regress between now and draft time.
One of the bigger stages for prep hitters to change their placement is next week from October 24th-28th in Jupiter, Florida. Then scouts will track them in spring to see if what they saw in summer held up through the winter. Last year, some pitchers added a few ticks to their fastball and jumped up draft boards, some didn't stay in shape and slid. The 2014 draft will have similar things occur. It's a marathon, not a sprint, just as in the regular baseball season, so I intend to write notes on players multiple times.
I feel the best way to categorize these players is by geography. It's hard to look at 1000 players and skim off the top, so separating them into an area is almost like separating prospects by team to find the best ones. This will be the first step to open discussions and it will be the heart of my coverage when I'm wrapping everything up prior to the draft.
Beyond the regions, I will have an overall draft board that I will post prior to the draft and will likely post a handful of top 100 prospect lists between now and draft day. The first update will likely be mid-November. I will do mock drafts as the year moves along for you to think about players who might line up well in your favorite teams system. All Questions Answered threads will likely happen. I will write up draft profiles for as many players as I can get to.
I will give you information regarding high school players' ages as they enter the next step in their career, discuss players I see signability concerns with, and point out the top junior college players that are available this year. I will also give a sneak peak at the 2015 draft. If there is anything else along the way that people really want or I feel is useful, I may try to add it as well.
I plan to release a draft book as I did last year, hopefully with better quality than last year. It will include much of what I post here at Minor League Ball and more. Last year it was 101 pages and it will easily exceed that this year. Those that donated for last years' book will get additional information that I will not release to everyone, I'm just not sure what it will be yet but I'm sure I'll have a few easter eggs worthy of hiding by the time book comes out.