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Back in the desert

Back in the desert
March 14, 2012
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Oh Arizona how I have missed you. Feels like yesterday that I was here for Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League.

Okay, so I am out in Arizona and preparing for my first day of camp today (Wednesday). It is always a hectic day as you try to scramble to find out where everyone is grouped, catch up with players and coaches that you have not seen in six months, and just buckling down and acclimating yourself to a new year of baseball coverage.

Today I will be in minor camp all morning until. They only have workouts until about noon, but starting tomorrow games should make things a lot more interesting as they will – I am assuming right now – have an intrasquad game in preparation for their minor league spring game kickoff on Friday (AAA/AA are home against the Brewers).

All that being said, here is what you can expect on the IPI over the next week-plus that I am here in Arizona:

Starting tomorrow and for the remainder of the month I will be posting a player feature almost every day except on Sunday’s. The hope is to be able to post 12-15 player feature articles of varying length from now until the end of spring training. I will hit on some of the obvious guys, but will try to focus most of my attention on interviewing 2011 draftees and guys slotted for extended spring training and rookie ball this year since I won’t see them after spring training until June. I’ll be all over the full season teams April-June, so want to get with some of these other guys that are not as accessible most of the season.

I will also be posting five different notebooks that have random notes, quotes, firsthand information, injury updates, and so on. The plan is to post the first one tomorrow and another on Friday, and then three more next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Just to note in advance, these will only be available to subscribers.

I’ll also be taking a ton of pictures to use throughout the season and start to build up my 2012 image library for the site. If you are a family member of a player in camp (or a subscriber), please contact me if you are interested in obtaining professional quality photos of a specific player in action this spring (and/or throughout the season).

As always, I will be shooting tons of video so I can put together new scouting videos for 2012 in the offseason. New this year will be film of position players in the field paying defense and also running the bases, so no longer just them swinging the bat.  This is a tremendous project that Michael Taylor and myself work on with me filming and collecting it all season and then him editing and producing the videos in the offseason. In total we will put together new scouting videos for around 100-120 Indians players this year.

I will also be filming video interviews with players for the debut of a new show called “IPI on Site”. It is a web video show that Michael Taylor and I have put together that will be about 5-10 minutes and feature an on-air pre-taped interview with an Indians’ prospect. I hope to shoot three to four of these while out in Arizona so I can debut it late next week and air them weekly until the season starts. I’m very excited to debut this show!

And, if that was not enough, I will also be recording radar gun readings of Indians’ prospects as well as other prospects for other teams I happen to see. This will be compiled for use in a new “Radar Report” which should debut shortly after I return home from Arizona and will be a regular Monday afternoon staple on the site all season.

It is a lot of work and is really the craziest time of the year with having so many players to keep tabs of and follow all in one small place, so I will do my best to report on as many players as I can. If you have any specific players you would like see featured for an article this spring or would like to know more information, just let me know.

Also, while I am here, I have a few other site updates to note:

Smoke Signals returns for the 2012 season on April 3rd! The popular Indians’ on-line radio show returns for its fifth season, and site writer and co-editor Jim Pete will be filling in for Paul Cousineau. Paul departs after a great three-plus year run after we debuted the show in August 2012, and will be very missed.  The first show of the season will be a special edition that is two hours long.  The first hour will be dedicated to catching up with where the Indians are and the decisions they made in spring training, and the second hour will be a site roundtable with several IPI writers participating and discussing several topics as the new season gets set to begin. Smoke Signals will return to its normal one hour format and will air every Tuesday night 10:00-11:00PM, and with the return of the one hour format it will also allow time for live on-air interviews on a regular basis.

I have posted internships to the career services board at Ohio State University, Arizona State University, North Carolina State University, Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University, Kent State University, Akron University, and Lake Erie College. If you are interesting in writing for the IPI this season and doing game reports for any of the Indians’ six minor league affiliates, please let me know. If you go to a school that I did not list, that’s fine. Just contact me if interested.

The new 2012 Cleveland Indians Prospect Insider book is now available on-line at in both  regular book format and also as an e-book through their Kindle Store. You can also still order it here on the site through the site store provided by the publisher.

For the first time it is available as an e-book through the Kindle Store. Unfortunately, due to the complex nature with including all of the pictures, graphs, charts, etc, I was only able to include the actual written scouting reports for the 180+ write-ups. There are no accompanying photos, tool grades, and stats nor an appendix section as seen in the book. Even still, it is a great option for Kindle and tablet lovers out there that want the information on-hand through a convenient, portable media. For those that have the iPad, Nook, etc, I am told you can download an app to view the Kindle version.

For those that do not want to purchase the book online, you can purchase it in the team shops at Goodyear and Cleveland. It is also available at Low-A Lake County and Double-A Akron, and should be available at other minor league team shops soon.

Anyway, that’s it for the updates, time to get the new 2012 season officially rolling. I’ll chime in later tonight with the first player feature and will tweet a few updates over the course of the day.

Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his new book the 2012 Cleveland Indians Prospect Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

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