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Baseball Prospectus 2005: Statistics, Analysis, and Insight for the Information Age Paperback – February 14, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts on Baseball Talent includes, among others, Gary Huckabay, the founder of Baseball Prospectus; Chris Kahrl, a sports editor who lives in Washington, D.C.; and Dave Pease, who roots for Ryan Klesko in San Diego. Together, the roster of Baseball Prospectus writers consult to 26 of the 30 major league baseball teams.

Product Details

  • Series: Baseball Prospectus
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (February 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761135782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761135784
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

To those kvetching about the "late" publication date ... stop and consider this:

The Series ends late October (and for the writeups on at least 2 teams, this is a critical point).

It takes a significant amount of time from the end of the season to:

* process the data on 1600 players from the Majors and Minors

* consider the subjects to write about in the team essays, and then do the background research on them

* allow for the free agency signing period to pass, which allows for better commentary on expected valuation of players on their new teams

Also consider that the BP crew is also still producing daily commentaries and analysis for their website, and that for many of them, BP is NOT their "real job". So .. let's cut them a little slack.

I noticed the foreword was written on January 10 (just days after the end of the FA signing period) ... and the 600+ page book arrived on shelves a little more than 7 weeks later ... in MY mind, that's NOT a bad turnaround time ...

As for roto drafts being held just as pitchers and catchers report, well, THAT seems a bit foolhardy.

Its a balancing act between the timeliness and relevance of the data, and the publisher's desires as to when to get the book out. From the publisher's point of view, there is really little reason to get a baseball book out in late January/early February ... not enough potential buyers are thinking of baseball.

Anyway, as for this year's edition of the BP, its everything I've come to expect from the gang, and their PECOTA system has been a godsend for my drafting strategies.

I subtracted a star for the numerous typos ... yeah, its a petty gripe. Perhaps they didn't have enough time to proofread?
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The Baseball Prospectus is an excellent resource, and a fun browser for baseball fans. The Pecota projections give a sense of how the player might perform THIS year, and whether he's more likely to improve or decline from last year. The little analytical paragraph on each player is priceless, and often very funny.

On the other hand, there are a couple of problems...
The first is the authors' theological insistence on not allowing the stats for Runs Scored, RBIs, Wins-Losses, or Saves to show up anywhere. We all get it, these stats are problematic and subjective and don't always reveal the true contribution of a player to his team. But hey, those are all stats that every single fantasy league in the country counts. So the tens of thousands of guys with fantasy teams who are looking for some insights into some of the key statistical categories will be disappointed. This book, open alongside of the Bill James Handbook, should give you all the data you need.

The second problem is really about the format. The Bill James Handbook lists all the players alphabetically, and that makes sense for fantasy coaches. The Baseball Prospectus, however, lists the players by team. But even where a player has changed teams and the authors note that fact, the Prospectus insists on listing him with his old team.

I think the Bill James Handbook --because it uses the stats and format most convenient to fantasy owners-- will be a better buy if you're only getting one book. Fantasy owners are less interested in the collection of talent on any particular real-life team than in being able to assess the whole universe of players. So the Bill James book is better-suited to fantasy owners.
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By SirTheory on March 9, 2005
The thing that impresses me most about this book is the sense of humor used throughout. Its not just stats, figures, and predictions. The writers actually let their personality shine through. I really bow to the editor of this for not squelching the creativity. I found myself laughing harder at something things said in this than at most Simpsons episodes. Definately recommended.
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I received my copy of BP 2005 on the same day that the fantasy tools and the detailed 2005 PECOTA projections arrived on BaseballProspectus.com. As usual I'm overwhelmed by the amount of information at my hands. Where to start? Looking up the PECOTA's on the web to prepare for my roto draft, or taking a more leisurely stroll through the team-by-team chapters and player evaluations in the book? I'm planning to do both. Of course there's more baseball analysis in the book. It's going to take a while to work through the math in Woolner's chapter on "Win Expectancy" and the logic of Click's analysis of "The Art of Baserunning." But the MLB season is a month away,and I'll have time to read everything as the season progresses. Put it another way: this is a big book, and baseball has a long season. I'm going to hurry in consuming many of the individual player stats but take my time reading and enjoying the team essays, analytic studies, and day-by-day columns on the website.
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This refrence book is part of what's known as the sabrmetrics, or statistical analysis, movement in baseball today, particularily the pro game. The main thesis that this book is based around is the factual idea that baseball players (and, by association, baseball decisions) can be analyzed using stats. Many successful MLB teams, including the A's, Red Sox, Indians, Cardinals, and Dodgers use advanced statistics (some more than others) to determine what moves they should make.

This book isn't a fantasy baseball book, it is a scouting guide. You won't find Wins, RBI, or Errors listed here, because these stats aren't important when it comes to evaluating players. Some reviewers have complained at the lack of said stats, and that they should "at least be included". On the contrary, they don't fit BP's organizational hilosophy. They shouldn't be included at all. If you want to use BP for your fantasy league, you're better off buying a "BP Fantasy" subscription at [...]

Other reviewers have stated the the Sabrmetric way of thinking doesn't encompass all the lore, emotion, heart, etc. that play such an important role in such a beautiful game. They say that baseball can't be measured solely in stats. Unfortunately for them, it nearly can. If heart, emotion, and the like actually were important, then they would show up as anomilies in the stat relationships. Fact is, they don't. Those things don't really matter, because they don't effect how the outcome of the game.

The BP writers aren't out to dehumanize baseball. Far from it, in fact! They are providing insight into a new way to play the game, a way to play the game that has made the low-budget A's into consistent 90+ game winners, and the Red Sox into World Series champions.
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