3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Always a valuable resource-and this year's volume is no different,
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This review is from: Baseball Prospectus 2009: The Essential Guide to the 2009 Baseball Season (Paperback)
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. Each player is compared with a set of others (retired and active) whose statistics link them. For A. J.? Terry Kennedy, Javy Lopez, Sandy Alomar. The table for Pierzynski also provides guesses as to the odds of a collapse in his performance (41%), a breakout year (14%), improvement (30%), and attrition (38%).
Pitchers? Let's take just one as an example--John Danks. First, his comparison group--Ken Holtzman, Kevin Appier, and Bob Shirley). He is projected as having a 10-9 season, with an ERA of 4.27.
Anyhow, a lot of fun! I find myself in disagreement with some of the projections and that is a good part of the fun. For baseball fans who like their statistics in abundance, this book will serve you well.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 20, 2009 10:42:51 AM PST
betty l. dravis says:
Wish I had time to read all the books I want to read, STEVEN. What a fine, in-depth review of a subject I know little about, except of the Little League variety when my kids played. But I did graduate with Joe Nuxhall in Ohio, back in the day when he was the youngest player ever to sign with a major league team (Cincinnati Reds). He was my "good buddie." My claim to fame! ;-)
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2009 10:49:36 AM PST
Steven Peterson says:
Joe Nuxhall? Cool. Aside from that "youngest ever" designation, he had a pretty decent career on its own merits.
Posted on Feb 22, 2009 4:35:02 PM PST
Karen Joan says:
Thanks, Steven. My nephew would love this.
Posted on Feb 23, 2009 5:00:11 PM PST
Linda Bulger says:
Oh yes, almost that time again! Thanks for the reminder.
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