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Baseball Prospectus 2008: The Essential Guide to the 2008 Baseball Season Paperback – February 25, 2008
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This book is one of those compendia that come out each year, providing information on major league baseball players. This has a sabermetric element to it, so those who love statistics will enjoy this work.
There are some nice features, including a listing of the top 100 prospects this season, how base running turns into runs, projected leaders in a variety of categories (e.g., they project Ryan Howard to lead in home runs with 44, Albert Pujols to lead in batting average with .327, Jose Reyes to lead in stolen bases with 60, etc.).
Those projections are based on a technique called PECOTA, in which players are equated with many other players--past and present--with similar characteristics. Then, that data base is used to project how well the particular contemporary player is likely to do this year. As an example, let's take a look at one team, the White Sox. Many of the Sox' key players are aging, and projections suggest declining performance among such stalwarts as Jim Thome and A. J. Pierzynski. Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye, on the other hand, are projected to perform in similar fashion to 2007. By the way, one of the nice features is that each player is compared to those whose career statistics define PECOTA. For instance, comparables to Joe Crede include Dave Roberts, Kevin Orie, Tim Wallach, and Tim Hulett. Just looking at comparables is fun! Jermaine Dye is equated with Dave Henderson, Joe Adcock, Jose Canseco, and Juan Gonzalez. Pretty good company (at least for statistics).Read more ›
Each team gets its own chapter. An in-depth article covers the team's chances for the season, including recruits, injuries, strategy, even history. Plenty of tables and figures back things up. Each player gets a paragraph about his abilities and prospects for the 2008 season, with a stat table that reviews his past four years and projected numbers for this season. The chapter concludes with a similar analysis on the team manager.
At the end of the book are articles on different baseball-related topics, with a list of the Baseball Prospectus Top 100 Prospects.
For help in deciphering the statistics, an introductory chapter called Statistical Introduction very calmly and clearly explains what all the terms in the tables mean. For example, it explains that "VORP" means Value Over Replacement Level, a cumulative stat that estimates total player value over a period of time.
I wish there was a book like this for college football! Then when my 'Noles mess up another season, at least I would know why!
Team essays are not the garden variety review of offseason moves that are to be found in most preview magazines; rather, they often go into teams' philosophies of building, scouting, development and so on. I find this interesting in thinking about long-term health of franchises and looking forward to the new year.
Some of the material can be pretty high level. Past player stats are all translated to a baseline according to league difficulty, park effects and other factors. This can be a little unsettling or annoying at times when you want to know how someone did at a raw level, but there isn't room for everything. Predictions are given as expected numbers.
Such presentation probably isn't for everyone, so I'd suggest anyone looking to buy this book for the first time go to their website, [...] Check out some of the essays, transaction analyses and such. Be sure to look at the historical EQA cards page, because this also gives an overview of the way they do their translations and present their stats. This will give you the best idea of whether this book is for you.
But don't let the stat stuff scare you away. The detailed player comments and team essays alone make this worth the money for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the analysis. One weak spot with Baseball Prospectus' for all years is that there is no evaluation of prior years' predictions. Read morePublished 5 months ago by El Brocko
Incredible compilation of standard and original statistics developed by the authors to clear away the distractions and focus on who the good players are and why. Read morePublished on February 22, 2009 by Neal Davis
I thought bitting humor and brutal honesty were gone once "The Scouting Report" wimped out and eventually died several years ago, but upon purchasing this book I am delighted to... Read morePublished on July 26, 2008 by R. Young
The stats and projections are all fantastic. However, I found the essays lacking and the book as a whole didn't live up to my lofty expectations. Read morePublished on April 30, 2008 by James Rodgers
This is a great book! Great stats, good projections, good reading for the Fantasy and Baseball FanPublished on April 7, 2008 by Brett Williams
The Baseball Prospectus is year after year the best baseball preview around. The expanded team by team and players analysis will take you through the year. A great productPublished on April 4, 2008 by Luca Rossi
This is an excellent resource for scouting baseball players for the upcoming season. Literally you get this book for $15, and compared with the magazines you get for $8, it is a... Read morePublished on March 31, 2008 by Michael Gilligan
The best baseball reference book by far! Informative, concise and humorous. Just wish it was larger!Published on March 28, 2008 by B. Hass
Great information with some humor. A great book. The analysis of the teams and players is fantastic!Published on March 26, 2008 by Darryl Mccormick