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Baseball Prospectus 2004: Statistics, Analysis, and Attitude for the Information Age Paperback – February 1, 2004
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The frustrating thing is, it was supposed to ship Feb 15th, and as of the 28th it is still not shipping. I don't mind the delay as much as the lack of information. I don't know if it is a problem with the publisher, or Amazon, but it is very irritating.
Looking forward to the book though, it is always informaitve and entertaining.
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.
If you are a sabermetric junkie - you simply cannot go without this book. And, quite frankly, you should become a member on their website - they have excellent articles and the content is updated regularly - one of my favorite baseball websites.
I could tell you that I won my fantasy league last year (which is true) and that I used this book to prepare for the draft and during the year (which is true), but in reality the reason I buy this book each year is because I have learned to trust and really enjoy the reading that I do on their website. Go to baseballprospectus.com and look around - then join and buy the books.
I am a major baseball stat junkie and a statistics professor to boot, so I absolutely eat this stuff up. This is one of three books that I would be uncomfortable preparing for a Fantasy Draft without. I'll let that speak for itself. Go buy it.
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. The point is, if you buy these books to help you in your league, use the Prospectus to gain statistical insights (Cost Leadership) and use the other book to form a strategy (Differentiation) based on those insights so they give you a practical advantage.
Whether you buy the Prospectus for fantasy or not, if you are a baseball fan, you really should get it. You will view baseball from a more objective perspective.