8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2000
All of the reviews of Baseball Prospectus above are spot-on -- it's easily one of the most insightful and ENTERTAINING baseball publications (are you listening, John Benson?) and a must-read for those who take the game seriously.
But be warned -- if you think that baseball analysts "look at stats too much" or still believe that batting average is a pretty good way of assessing a hitter's performance, then you will be way out of your league. Even after 2+ years of studying the Prospectus' methodology, I'm still occasionally befuddled by the statistical measurements used.
Let's just put it this way: there are NO REAL STATS in Baseball Prospectus -- all stats are adjusted (based on park factors, team factors, etc.) or projections for the upcoming year. It's the ultimate in "fantasy" baseball -- yet it tells you more about the "real" game than any non-STATS book out there. And -- to repeat -- it's extremely well-written, provocative and hilarious.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2000
If every general manager in baseball (Ed Lynch, are you reading this! ) was forced to study this book, entire paradigms of baseball lore would suddenly be pushed aside in favor or fresh, rational, and rigorous principles of management. All of the statistics provided in the prospectus are, of course, second to none, but Michael Wolverton's relief ratings (ARP, ARA, etc.) are truly something special. I have always been amazed at how even the most "knowledgable" baseball minds accept simplistic statistics like ERA and saves as valuable appraisals of a relief pitcher's talents. It's as if the baseball gurus have failed to adjust to post-1950 baseball with its growing reliance on bullpens and decreasing reliance on starting pitchers, and the completely different conditions in which relief pitchers work in comparison to their starting compatriots. Yet these same "experts" have accepted without question the notion that a team must have a real "closer" in order to be a contender. Wolverton blasts these assumptions to smithereens with his analyses, and his elaborate calculations, yet pristine conclusions should revolutionize how the later innings of games are viewed. Throw in the authors' passionate defense of wise treatment of young pitchers, their funny yet consistently incisive comments about hundreds of players, their willingness to challenge age-old fallacies like "veteran leadership" and the genuinely historical perspective they bring to the table of baseball debate, and you have one of the most informative and entertaining baseball books I've ever read.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2000
If you watch a lot of baseball and the so-called analysis offered by the journalists who cover it, you'll have come to believe in a lot of bunk by the time you reach adulthood. You'll probably believe in all kinds of myths like "clutch hitters," "protection in the lineup," that Dante Bichette is a star-caliber player, and the importance of relief pitchers having defined roles.
This book is for those who like baseball, of course, but particularly for those who are committed to understanding the empirical truth about the game. This book will help you to see what makes players and teams good or bad, regardless of their reputation in the press.
This book is the successor to Bill James' Baseball Abstracts of the 1980s. This gang has taken the methodology to the next level. It will take a while to understand what the stats mean if they're new to you, but understanding an EqA will tell you much more than a batting average, or even an on-base percentage or slugging percentage, can ever tell you about what a hitter actually contributes to his team's offense.
There is no other publication on the market that compares.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2000
BP debunks myths, explodes fallacies, and takes sabermetrics to a new height. It has an excellent method for evaluating and projecting performance, but many other credible methods can found elsewhere. BP's riches are found in the essays and player commentaries. Its insights will reshape the baseball debate in the coming years. Roster management, pitcher abuse, big markets v. small markets, tools v. skills -- the debates defining our age and the age to come are all discussed fully and insightfully here.
BP readers will in short time find themselves looking at baseball in a much more complex and accurate way. They will find themselves at greater and greater distance from the newsstand knowledge of those who rely on magazines and Baseball Weekly. They'll be better fans for having read BP. No other book provides so much. BP2K is the best value on the market.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2000
This is really a neat book. It's got a ton of stuff in it. It's got more players than any other book I've seen, the layout and organization makes it easy to read, and the writing is very good. Too much information to read at one sitting, though. It's kind of a cross between the STATS books and Rob Nyer. The author doesn't always understand the other parts of the game that aren't covered in the statistics, and some of the adjusted stats are adjusted too much. Not every Rockie is a lousy hitter. But I've spent the last several hours reading, and I can't put it down. Overall, it really is great. I wish I had discovered it earlier.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2000
Where once there was only Bill James, now it seems there are oodles of annuals offering scientific analysis of baseball, and a zillion more offering fantasy advice. What makes Prospectus far and away the best? Yes, its analysis is spot on, and contrary to the review above, they have nothing against the Colorado Rockies. Yes, its comments would be helpful at a fantasy draft, although this book is much more about "Real" baseball. No, what makes the Prospectus the best book is the humor. You'll laugh out loud more often than reading any comedian's book on the NYT best sellers list, that's for sure.
on March 8, 2000
Baseball Prospectus is a must-have for any hard-core baseball fan. These guys do a fantastic job of stripping away the nonsense and the myths and really analyzing the facts to come up with some really useful observations. Also, the manner in which they do it is fun, funny and engrossing; never just a cold statistical survey. All fantasy league players should buy this book immediately, but it will be a great read to any fan of the game.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2000
If you are really serious about fantasy baseball and you do not have this book...then you are really NOT serious about fantasy baseball. The best, bar none!