Just over a decade ago in the winter of 2004, the Detroit Tigers were coming off the worst season in franchise history, losing an AL record 119 games. Attendance for the season was a paltry 1.3 million, and the heralded prospects like Nate Cornejo and Eric Munson, the supposed saviors for the club, had struggled through their first full season in the big leagues.
After all that, some kid looked at the landscape of that team, without much of a farm system to speak of, an apathetic fan base, and no detailed background in either baseball scouting and analysis or journalism and thought, "This seems like a perfect opportunity to start an in-depth scouting and minor league service, and use the internet to sell it!"
Lo and behold, that foolish kid was me, and a decade later, here we are. With the help of Mark Anderson, TigsTown has grown from nothing more than an idea to one of the largest Detroit Tigers communities on the web, featuring some of the best and most in-depth content available on the organization.
Along with the new look-and-feel you see today, TigsTown is also undergoing some enhancements in its content offering to you, the readers. Historically, TigsTown has focused heavily and primarily on minor league coverage – scouting reports, game recaps, player Q&A's, notebooks, and down the line. It was an outlet to serve a very select audience, providing a great baseline of information, but in many ways lacked a substantial unique offering, duplicating work done by major and minor league beat writers across the organization or asking questions fans themselves can now ask the players via Twitter.
Today, TigsTown aims to pivot from that point. We'll continue to offer the most in-depth prospect scouting available, led by our Director of Scouting Mark Anderson, with scouting reports comparable in quality and detail to what the organizations themselves receive. These will continue to run the gamut, from the top prospects to the newest draft picks to an unknown 17-year old in the Dominican.
In addition, we'll have a laser-focus on the most important updates on those top prospects down on the farm. Which player rehabbing from injury just made an appearance in extended spring? How did a top pitching prospect look in his first start against a new level of competition? Which minor leaguers are on a hot streak? Are the Tigers planning on going over-slot to sign a top draft pick? You'll get it all here.
Helping lead the charge will be Senior Correspondent James Chipman. Based in central Florida, Chipman is on the pulse of the organization's winter home like few others.
Finally, TigsTown will have an increased focus on player performance and analysis, both at the Major and minor league levels. TigsTown has always embraced yet never fully utilized advanced analytics to provide insight into the team's performance.
We welcome a new member to the staff to help us tackle this immense challenge – Neil Weinberg (founder of NewEnglishD.com) joins the TigsTown team as a Senior Analyst. Neil has the rare skill of being a keen observer of the game with an outstanding ability to understand and synthesize metrics to provide deeper insight.
I will continue in my role as TigsTown's Executive Editor, leading the charge to serve our mission as laid out here to the best of our ability, and managing this outstanding group of baseball minds.
As you can see, along with the new team and content focus, TigsTown has a new look to go with it and improved functionality. Since purchasing the network that he originally founded back from FOX Sports last fall, Jim Heckman, CEO of Scout, has been working tirelessly to upgrade the experience for all readers, and today is simply the first iteration of that. Greater integration of social media, immersive mobile experiences and impressive visual content and interactive tools are all on the horizon.
So we hope you've enjoyed this ride with us the last decade, but as always, the best is yet to come. Thanks for reading, and again, welcome to the new TigsTown.com!