With pitchers and catchers ready to report for Spring Training and another MLB Opening Day just around the corner, the Athlon Sports 2013 Baseball Annual slides home in time to provide the preseason analysis and predictions craved by fans of the national pastime from the Bronx to the Bay and everywhere in between.
We take a lap around the big leagues in "15 Things to Watch in 2013," examining the new-look Toronto Blue Jays, sophomore sensations Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, the Dodgers' new payroll, the Astros' new league and Davey Johnson's farewell tour.
"Short Hops" takes a look at the lighter side of a day at the ballpark, with quotes from the "Most Interesting Man in Baseball," Joe Maddon; Twitter All-Stars; a Vin Scully classic; and the "Calendar of the Weird," which chronicles oddball occurrences from 2012.
In "Penny Wise, Dollar Foolish," we decide whether the free-agent contracts signed by Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, B.J. Upton and Co. were investor home runs or expensive swings-and-misses.
The "College Baseball Top 25" gives a sneak peak at the game's next generation, while the "Fantasy Baseball" section provides a Top 100 cheat sheet as well as extensive position-by-position rankings that include over 400 players.
This year's magazine is highlighted by the following feature stories:
"2003 Draft Revisited", A look back at a draft class whose leadoff pick was Delmon Young but was bolstered by later picks such as Matt Kemp, Adam Jones and Jonathan Papelbon.
"Swing and a Miss", Major league hitters are striking out more than ever. We take a closer look at why there have been a record number of Ks recorded over the past few seasons.
"WAR: What is it good for? The 411 on Sabermetrics", The world of advanced statistics can be intimidating. The acronyms can be confusing. We give those numbers meaning.
This year's edition also includes a team-by-team preview of all 30 clubs, with rosters, stats and schedules as well as a look at each club's farm system. We also present our predictions for the 2013 American League and National League division races, playoffs and World Series, as well as the top candidates for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.
Finally, we run down the obscure events that had never happened until 2012, like a 38-year-old shortstop hitting double-digit home runs (Derek Jeter) and a teenager striking out five times in a single game (Bryce Harper).
Athlon Sports' Baseball Annual is the most complete preview available today. Order your copy now!