As we prepare for a new baseball season, taking a look at the overall state of prospecting, baseball and the hobby is needed if not mandatory. In my honest opinion baseball and prospecting have never been better. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Social Media - It has never been easier to follow a prospect on a day to day basis. Most if not all players have accounts on Twitter and Instagram. YouTube provides scouting videos and interviews.
2. The MLB and Topps Relationship - Prospectors may have issues with various checklists when they are released but Topps has done a great job. I don't see this relationship ever breaking up and Topps continues to release the best on card autographs on the market.
3. Data - Access to advanced statistics has made the prospecting process very fun if not easier. A number of sites have emerged that provide all the information you need to analyze a prospect.
4. Media Coverage - From Blogs to Podcasts, access to discussions and other opinions have never been more available. In addition, the Futures Game and MLB Draft continue to improve their broadcast. You can even watch the Arizona Fall League now!
Are there concerns? Of course there are. The Hobby Shops are slowly being taken over buy the online stores which makes buying cards harder since you are looking at photos and scans. The positive is that card shows are still very active and provide an alternative.