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Baseball Prospectus 2008: The Essential Guide to the 2008 Baseball Season Paperback – February 25, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The best book overall for preparing for a rotisserie draft." John Hunt, fantasy baseball writer, BASEBALL WEEKLY --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Baseball Prospectus 2001 is the one source for all the inside information and original analysis that every true baseball fan needs on all the players of today and tomorrow. Only Baseball Prospectus contains complete analyses of the top players in each organization from the stars all the way down to rookie ball, and does so with objective, intelligent commentary and irreverent humor. Baseball Prospectus gives you the final word on what the players did, why they did it and what they're going to do in the future. Baseball Prospectus 2001's special features include in-depth commentary on 1644 players; complete Davenport Translation information, including Peripheral ERA, and evaluations of players' secondary as well as their primary defensive position; Michael Wolverton's starting and relief pitcher performance tools and Rany Jazayerli's new and improved Pitcher Abuse Points analysis; forecasts of hitter performance using Clay Davenport's exclusive "Wilton" forecasting system; Keith Woolner's pitcher abuse research; Clay Davenport's research on park factors; this year's Top 40 Minor League Prospects, and more. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Baseball Prospectus
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; First Printing edition (February 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452289033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452289031
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,912,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hal Jordan VINE VOICE on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a long-time fan of the Prospectus. For my money, it's the best of the baseball annuals. Probably nothing will ever quite match the old Bill James Baseball Abstracts of fond memory. But if you are looking for thorough and entertaining reviews of every player's performance from the 2007 season along with projections for the 2008 season, you will not find a better book. In past years, the Prospectus often had big time editing problems. This year the writing seems very clean with only a few very minor goofs. Last year there was also an inconsistency between the PECOTA comparables and the text discussion. That problem was avoided this year. Finally, although the book is still about as thick as the Manhattan phone directory, it appears to be printed on higher quality paper, thereby avoiding some of the blurred print that marred last year's book. In short: Buy and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The new baseball season will soon be upon us, with hope breaking out all over. Those of us who are Chicago White Sox fan see our team starting off even with every other time and hope abounding. What will the season hold? Only 162 games will tell us.

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).
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Format: Paperback
Not having seen a Baseball Prospectus guide before, I was assuming this hefty guide would be a dry, stat-filled directory. I was wrong. This is a fascinating, readable guidebook. Once you start looking at it you can't put it down. If you buy this, plan to lose many hours of your life reading it.

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!
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Format: Paperback
This is my third edition of BP, and the book is consistently excellent. The player comments have softened overall across the years, but they're still not without their humor, and the commentary can be tough (e.g. on Al Martin's transgressions). They're getting closer to a good balance on being critical.
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.
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