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Baseball Prospectus 2009: The Essential Guide to the 2009 Baseball Season Paperback – February 16, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Baseball Prospectus
  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Original edition (February 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452290112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452290112
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 8.3 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Too bad, really used too like this.
Ed lover
I would have given the book five stars but for one complaint this year, and it's a big one.
Matt
Overall, it's hard to imagine a more complete overview of major league teams and players.
Hal Jordan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Hal Jordan VINE VOICE on February 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "Baseball Prospectus" is the best book of its type on the market. It carries on the tradition of the old Bill James "Baseball Abstract" much better than do similar books, including even the new "Bill James Gold Mine." The "Prospectus" contains an overview of every team, reviewing the 2008 season and looking ahead to the likely impact of offseason moves on the 2009 season. It also contains profiles of every player on each team's 40-man roster as well as the team's more promising players in the lower minors. "Lineouts" at the end of each team's entry give brief comments on more marginal players, such as minor leaguers who were once prospects, but whose careers have stalled because of injuries or poor performance. The conventional statistics are given for each player, as well as "translated" statistics that correct for the effects of playing in particular ballparks - such as the boost hitters get from playing in Coors Field in Denver - and several statistics that attempt to provide an estimate of the player's overall value. They also forecast what each player will do during the 2009 season using their PECOTA system. Finally, one fun thing is each player has a list of the four most comparable players in major league history. For instance, the four most comparable players to Ryan Howard are Mike Epstein, Cecil Fielder, David Ortiz, and Jim Gentile. What no Boog Powell or Frank Howard? Overall, it's hard to imagine a more complete overview of major league teams and players.

I have a few quibbles, however. Because different writers handle different teams, the assessments lack the single voice of the old Bill James "Abstracts." For instance, the comment on Edgar Renteria in the Detroit entry offers the opinion that: "The Giants surprised a lot of people by giving him $18.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on February 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Prospectus includes all MLB teams and players on 40 man rosters. This gives the reader a comprehensive look at stars, bench players, high prospects and even some organization players. The opening segment of the book explains the statistics that will be used in team chapters. In addition to the commonly used VORP (estimates the comparable value a player has over the average player), the Prospectus tries to quantify baserunning ability (EqBRR) and the impact a manger has on his team among innumerable other things. The authors also provide the "Pythagenport Record" for each team which estimates their wins and losses if luck were neutralized.

Prospectus writers do not always limit themselves to stats in their player analysis. Their description of the Angels' Bobby Abreu, for example, starts by admitting "our translations don't do justice to Abreu's brand of defense...You know those long drives that seem like home runs, only to die on the warning track? Abreu watches them bounce." The main thrust of the Prospectus, however, is that you can predict performance through numbers alone. White Sox first baseman Nick Swisher suffered through a drop in average in 2008 from 262 in his prior year in Oakland to a miniscule 219. The authors conclude "that it was the product of little more than bad luck." Since his walk rate, line drive rate and isolated power were in line with prior performance, he apparently did little wrong other than hit the ball at people for 6 months. I guess the breaks don't even out.

I am uncomfortable with the player projections for 2009 (PECOTA).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph C. Sweeney on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another year, another brilliant effort from the BP writers and editors. Though in this year's player comments there is little of the humor for which BP was known for this is still the best book of its kind to my knowledge. Maybe not as cutting edge as Bill James original Baseball Abstract's were back in the 1980's, BP is still required reading for serious and thoughtful baseball fans everywhere.

Well worth your time and money! Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Baseball Prospectus has become one of those annual publications that comes out before the baseball season starts that helps give fans some perspective on the forthcoming season.

Data freaks will love the statistics developed by the folks at Baseball Prospectus. Readers must digest the different key statistics (such as VORP and PECOTA). So, be sure to read pages vii to xvi carefully. These pages explain the variety of statistics that have been developed for pitchers and everyday players.

There follows to bulk of the book, which analyzes each team and its players in turn, from Arizona Diamondbacks to Washington Nationals. The volume closes with about 35 pages of essays on subjects such as best prospects, stadium updates, and PECOTA leaderboards (predicting who will be tops in a variety of statistics). For the latter, take a look and then compare what the projected figures are actually like at the end of the season. For instance, C. C. Sabathia is projected to lead the majors in 2009 with 16 victories. Chipper Jones is projected as the batting leader in the big leagues, with an average of .341.

Let's take one team as an illustration. Since I'm a White Sox fan, I'll be a chauvinist and take a look at some of the information there. Brian Anderson is your basic Good field, No hit" player. His PECOTA projects to a batting average of .232 (this would be the best hitting in his 3 major league seasons) with 8 home runs and 26 RBIs. Jermaine Dye's projections show some more decline, with a batting average of .271 (less than his average of the 3 preceding years, 25 home runs (another decline), and so on. What about A. J. Pierzynski, one of the most irritating players in baseball? A continuation of his recent slow decline is predicted. Another quick note on a feature.
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