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Signing Day

Ah, signing day. We’ve finally made it. Things have been quiet here over the past month because, let’s be honest, not much happens in the world of amateur baseball between the completion of the draft in early June and mid-July. Sure, you’ve got your signings trickling in here and there, plus amusing rumors of pre-draft deals gone wrong (the Alec Rash text message fiasco is a personal favorite) and the dramatic “will he or won’t he” sagas that play out near the top of the draft each year (I’ll say Gausman will, Appel and Giolito won’t…though the Giolito feeling is based more on wishful thinking than anything concrete — selfishly I’d rather see him at UCLA than on a rival club’s pitching staff).

You also have analysts rushing to praise or bury each team’s draft haul, a silly exercise (good draft = team that picked all your pre-draft favorites, bad draft = team that didn’t) made even sillier when done prior to knowing which players will sign before the deadline. There can be value there and I’m likely to do some post-signing day musing myself, so I shouldn’t dismiss all of the post-draft analysis as “silly,” but when done so quickly after the draft it seems like the whole exercise is merely a rehashing of what was said before the draft with no room for any deeper thought, like stopping and wondering why a pro scouting staff that has seen a player dozens of times over multiple seasons may have picked a guy higher than one random internet dude with a spotty track record of judging talent and a few decent contacts had him ranked on his own personal big board.

Finally, there is also plenty of tournament and showcase ball to watch if you don’t mind travelling to exotic locales (I kid, but Durham is a nice town) and sitting in relentless summer heat. This is most relevant to my interests, and should hopefully bear some meaningful content on the site in the near future. I’ve resisted the urge to post immediate reactions to what I’ve seen so far this summer because a) I like waiting until the end of the summer showcase period to present a fuller picture on each player’s prospect stock heading into 2013, and b) it is summer, a time where even the most disciplined unpaid writer can get distracted by, well, just about anything besides sitting in front of a computer screen.

All of that is in the past. Let’s talk about the future. Over the weekend I’ll be finalizing all of the 2012 draft rankings that I didn’t get to before the big day. I know this is a ridiculous way of doing things, what with the draft being completed over a month ago, but I’m a weird guy who needs to have one thing 100% out of the way before moving on to the next topic. Once all the ’12 rankings are finished, then we can move on to some fun, random posts (big league debuts of interest, retrospectives on old rankings, early impressions on ’13 college prospects) to buy time until the first big board for 2013 (tentative target date: late August) is ready to go.

Also, I might change the name and design layout of the site. So stayed tuned for that. As always, thanks for reading, commenting, and emailing.

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