Daily minor league updates have been a feature on Batters Box since 2004. A lot has changed in the baseball world over the last twenty years and now the daily MLU is changing too.
First, the internet has made minor league games more available to those who follow prospect performance. It started with real time box scores. Then we had a basic gameday. Thereafter gameday was continuously enhanced. Statcast arrived with even more information. And finally Milb TV made watching games easy for those interested.
Secondly, sources of information on the minor leagues and individual prospects are now more readily available. Twitter can give you real time reports on players and teams. Teams regularly post video on Twitter of notable events during games. The players themselves can interact with fans on Instagram or Twitter or Tik Tok.
What these changes mean is that the minor league update is often old news. Significant events are often detailed in the Batters Box minor league thread as they happen. People are on Twitter or are following the games themselves. As a result recapping the games the next day is not as relevant as it was in 2004.
And finally, how people access information has changed. Back in 2004 blogs were the new kids on the block, and they were a key source of finding out news and discussing what was going on. Blogs are still around and while Batters Box was, I believe, the first Blue Jay blog, there are now many blogs. While Batters Box is all volunteer with no advertising, other blogs have employees and take advertising to help pay the bills. Those blogs have more time and resources to grow their audience. Audience growth has not been a focus for Batters Box and we have been happy to retain our core group of dedicated fans. There are also locals in some of the cities providing information on that team. Our own Niall O'Donohoe does that very well for the Vancouver Canadians.
These changes in the environment are also reflected in our numbers. In general Batters Box has fewer visitors now than we had in the 2010's. The minor league update viewing numbers have also dropped, they are approx. 35% of what they were in the 2010's.
For all these reasons we are changing the minor league updates. We are no longer going to describe what happened in each game. As mentioned above we believe that is old news for a lot of people and has limited interest among readers. That information is often in the threads anyway, as posters discuss what they have seen on video or noted while following a game. In addition, on some days you can get a lot of lower scoring games where there is really nothing notable that happened.
Instead of a play by play MLU, we are moving to a MLU that just discusses a few things we noted specifically that day. It could be a big performance or a bad one. Or a more general note of what is happening in the Jays minor league system.
We hope you enjoy the new format and continue to discuss the minor leagues in the comments.