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Bill James presents his new player rating system in gory detail.
The Win Shares rating system was the basis for his player rankings in the New Historical Abstract.
James always seems a step ahead of everyone else when it comes to baseball analysis. The players' performance in a season is summarized by an integer number representing three times the number of wins a player contributed to his team. For instance Barry Bonds scored a 54 for 2001 -- tied for the third best season according to James.
Getting through the detailed explanation of the system (over one hundred pages) takes time. I wish it had been condensed some more. The fun begins when James uses his results to ask questions such as "Which players deserved postseason awards?"
or to compare players over different eras like Carl Yastrzemski and Chuck Klein.
Another emphasis in this book is on fielding stats. James spends a lot of time picking apart Total Baseball's fielding ratings and then attempting to prove his system is better.
There is also a 500-page reference section showing Win Share results for players on every major league team since 1876, career progressions for top players, career and single-season leaders, etc. Overall, a nice companion to the new Historical Abstract and Total Baseball....Read more