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Baseball Prospectus 2004: Statistics, Analysis, and Attitude for the Information Age Paperback – February 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Baseball Prospectus
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761134026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761134022
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,717,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The 2004 edition of BASEBALL PROSPECTUS is still a winner, with more detailed analysis and perceptive player commentary than ever before--a resource for anyone who wants to go beyond the superficial and not very informed player analyses that get written in mainstream media. With all the numbers available, these guys understand which numbers are meaningful, and what they portend for future performance. Though not designed for fantasy baseball, it can be used in that context as well.
As in 2003, PROSPECTUS carries both actual and translated player statistics, making it an incredibly useful all-in-one resource. For the unitiated, "translated" player statists are the actual numbers adjusted for park and league effects. Some parks are friendly to hitters, while others are friendly to pitchers, for example. The theory is that without taking context into account, it is impossible to measure the value of players relative to one another. This book solves that problem, and has figured out ways of translating numbers from the minor leagues, as well as the Japanese league and the Mexican league. Invaluable.
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Since 1997, the Baseball Prospectus team of analysts have come together to produce the best baseball annual on the market. And while the quality of their writing might have slipped a tad in 2003, they've come back with a vengeance in 2004 with their best book yet. It's simply outstanding.
This book has everything: thought-provoking essays on each of the 30 MLB teams, sharp-witted, irreverent humor, original back-of-the-book articles on (among other things) the influence of catchers on stopping the running game, and stats. And stats. And stats. And did I mention stats?
But these aren't your father's baseball statistics. As anyone who read Michael Lewis's "Moneyball" or visits [...] on a regular basis knows, the BP team is responsible for the most advanced baseball analysis going on today. Luckily, there are some well-reasoned explanations of these stats at the front of the book, which proves that the authors are more than your average number-crunchers, and actually have a feel for game that most people who deal with stats do not. I could hardly do justice to their explanations in this space, so I'll just say "see for yourself."
And yet, while stats are abundant throughout "Baseball Prospectus 2004," what really *makes* the book is the writing. Each team gets the full treatment of a ~2000 word essay, along with detailed player comments on at least 50 individuals throughout the organization. Player comments run from the fascinating and informative to the downright hilarious. The BP writers don't pull any punches in their analysis, and it makes for fantastic reading, whether you agree with their opinions or not.
I could go on about "Baseball Prospectus 2004," but I hardly feel like I'd be doing it justice.
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I bought the Baseball Prospectus 2004 thinking that it would be a beefed up version of a fantasy magazine. I was pleasantly surprised that it was much more. I can see why baseball GMs read it. It offers excellent statistical analysis of the past performances of players and gives educated PECOTA projections for the future. I would bet the first thought of first-time readers when they open this book is "Wow, this is cool. I can't believe they did all this." That was my impression.
I must admit that I bought this book to help me in my fantasy league. I am not a baseball statistics purist or registered sabremetrician. I know many readers are though. For people like me, the Prospectus does not give projections for the standard 5x5 or roto categories, but gives OBP and OPS type stats. I understand that these have greater predictive value, but I would still like to know how many RBI the writers think Sammy Sosa is going to get. So I was wondering how to translate the insights from the Baseball Prospectus for my league.
I also bought the Fantasy Baseball Strategy book which I see Amazon is offering with the Prospectus. This is a very good pairing. That book's valuation approach also uses iteration to compare players to replacement players, or the ones not expected to be drafted, in each scoring category. So the statistical approach is very much inline with the Prospectus'. What I think is interesting is that the author really emphasizes the strategic and competitive aspects of fantasy baseball over the valuation process (which is only one of 11 chapters), mainly because most people focus on that. There is a really good section using Michael Porter's Competitive Advantage (Cost Leadership vs. Differentiation) principles that illustrates why. The two books compliment each other well.
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By A Customer on February 28, 2004
This is not a fantasy guide. This is not a typical season preview magazine. It is however a fantastic book full of insightful and funny writing on everything baseball.
Some of the statistics can be hard to understand or figure out where they came from but they are useful once you grasp what they mean. I still don't know how to figure out things like Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) or Equivalent Average (EqA) but I know what they mean now and they are much more useful than the everyday RBI's and batting average totals you'll find everywhere else.
This book isn't just about the numbers though. You've got chapter reviews on every MLB team along with a paragraph or two on every significant player in every MLB organization (including minor leaguers).
Did I mention that besides being a very useful reference book that it is entertaining, too? The writers refer to all sorts of off-the-wall pop culture references within the articles making for fun reads.
If you really love baseball, you should get this book.
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