Every spring for the last several years, there comes a point when it’s time to order the year’s Baseball Prospectus book. Considering the majority of the raw info it contains can now be found online, it is a testament to the quality of the publication and it’s writing that the book remains so essential for so many fans.
For anyone that ensures there book is on order during Spring Training, the BP team’s latest, The Call Up, offers a mid-season update of sorts. It is the individual player capsules that generally provide the book’s biggest highlights but, as editor Ben Lindbergh points out in the preface, baseball’s natural turnover has the ability to render information obsolete as soon as proofs are delivered to the printers.
The Call Up offers far fewer player capsules, instead focussing on players whose first half performances differ most from what was projected in the 2012 book. For anyone that enjoys dipping into those capsules at random these are a welcome bonus and they also serve as nice primer on who has been providing the most interesting play so far in 2012.
The other key content is a mid-season top 50 prospect list from Kevin Goldstein. Top prospect list tend to come out in clumps around the same time the BP book is published in the Spring so it’s good to have an interim list to bridge the gap between the 2012 and 2013 lists and also pre-empt some of the names who might have jumped into the prospect mixer.
The essays which are included are excellent, particularly Mike Fast’s work on catcher framing ability, but if you’re a BP subscriber you’ll almost certainly have come across them at some point in the last few months. I’d hesitate to call this an essential purchase, but for less than $5 it provides tremendous value and is a very nice mid-season addition to you baseball reading list.