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Baseball Prospectus 2011 Paperback – February 1, 2011
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Top Ten Ways Your Friends Will Know You Haven't Read Baseball Prospectus 2011
10. You think $86 million dollars sounds like the perfect price to pay for three years of Derek Jeter and Rafael Soriano.
9. You drafted Josh Hamilton or Ubaldo Jimenez in the first round of your fantasy draft this year.
8. The fielding metrics you've been looking at tell you Kevin Kouzmanoff and Matt Holliday were elite fielders last year.
7. You think this might be Chicago's year.
6. You've never heard of Chris Carter, Jesus Montero, or Steven Hill.
5. You've heard of Carter, Montero, and Steven Hill, but without BP's "MLB %" playing time projection and scouting report, you overdrafted them in your fantasy league.
4. You think your team will be better than the Red Sox this year.
3. You're not bleary-eyed from staying up all night reading hundreds of pages of smart stats and witty commentary.
2. The words "Vernon Wells traded" don't make you giggle a little.
1. You're Ed Wade.
From the Back Cover
The 2011 Edition of the New York Times bestselling guide
"THE BEST BOOK OF ITS KIND."—Rob Neyer, ESPN.com
Now in its sixteenth edition, the Baseball Prospectus annual shows once again how it became the industry leader: the 2011 Edition includes key stat categories, more controversial player predictions, and the kind of wise, witty baseball commentary that makes a phone-book-thick tome worth reading cover to cover.
Baseball Prospectus 2011 provides fantasy players and insiders alike with uncannily prescient PECOTA projections, which Sports Illustrated has called "perhaps the game's most accurate projection model." Still, stats are just numbers if you don't see the larger context, and Baseball Prospectus brings together an elite team of analysts to provide the definitive look at all thirty teams—their players, their prospects, and their managers—to explain away flukes, hot streaks, injury-tainted numbers, park effects, and overrated prospects who won't be able to fool people in the Show like they have down on the farm.
Nearly every Major League team has sought the advice of current or former Prospectus writers, and readers of Baseball Prospectus 2011 will understand what all those fans have been raving about.
"If you're a baseball fan and you don't know what BP is, you're working in a mine without one of those helmets with the lights on it."
"Witty . . . savvy . . . a rich snapshot of where the game and its reference books are today and where they're going."
"Baseball Prospectus continues to raise the bar for innovative baseball analysis every year."
—Mark Shapiro, President, Cleveland Indians
"If a general manager hasn't read Baseball Prospectus, he should be fired for incompetence."
—Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball
Baseball Prospectus 2010 correctly predicted:
The collapse of 2009 stars Derek Jeter, Derrek Lee, Adam Lind, Pablo Sandoval, Ben Zobrist, Todd Helton, and Miguel Tejada
Major comebacks for Kelly Johnson, Rickie Weeks, and Aubrey Huff
Breakout seasons from Carlos Santana, Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, and Pedro Alvarez
That the Cubs' aging, expensive stars would put the team not only out of contention, but into rebuilding mode
That the Mets' injury problems, poor starting pitching, and absence of corner outfield power or a decent catcher would sink them for 2010 (and probably for 2011), leading to a round of firings
That Texas would put a great team on the field, a team well poised to compete for years to come
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Top Customer Reviews
A couple key case studies to illustrate. . . . Derek Jeter had a subpar year. Is this the beginning of the end? Or just an off year? This volume notes that his fielding is diminishing and his hitting appears to be on a downward slide. The projection for hitting: .281 batting average (a bit better than last year, but well below his career norm), .348 on base percentage (below average for the past handful of years). So, is the new contract worth this level of performance? Let each reader make his/her own decision on that matter. What about Philadelphia's acquisition of Cliff Lee for their pitching staff? His projected performance: 13-7 win-loss record and a 3.17 ERA.
Now, to the point. I am a Chicago White Sox fan. Gordon Beckham started off horrifically last year, but--with a solid finish--had halfway decent numbers. What of 2011? .266 batting average (an improvement, but not up to earlier performance levels). Paul Konerko was a wonder in 2010. For 2011? projected to hit .272 with a slugging percentage of .481. 28 homers and 84 RBIs. There is, though, a 34% chance of a collapse in performance (he is 35) and a 0% chance of improvement over last year. Mark Buehrle has been a pitching stalwart. He is projected to be 12-12 with a 4.91 ERA. Not stellar stuff. 12% chance of improvement over last year, a scary 40% chance of collapse in performance, and a 12% chance of attrition.
As always, a lot of fun perusing this volume. . . . If you are a figure filbert, you will probably enjoy this.
* PECOTA projections, updated on the Baseball Prospectus site, differ so materially from the book on many important players so as to make the numbers in the book an unreliable indicator. Really, BP knows the deadline for the book and the data is set with the end of the prior season, so this simply reflects a failure to get the job done on schedule. Revisions should reflect tweaks to the system or subsequent events, such as player movement, not major adjustments affecting large numbers of player forecasts.
* The narrative is simply poorly edited. The number of run-on sentences or sentences missing clauses or incorrectly formated tables creates the impression the book was rushed to press without even a proof-reading.
* In the past, I loved BP's insightful player write-ups. This year, the writing just isn't as good. It's almost as if the style of past years is being imitated but without the rich knowledge of unrelated fields that added color amd brought unique insights to player description.
* Ballparks (major and minor) are listed in an appendix, but park factors have been eliminated. Unfortunately, this makes the table fairly useless.
Having said that, the book made some advances: simplified the range of statistics, removing what was becoming a proliferation of redundant measures. The BP work on meusuring fielding performance is truly cutting edge. And the Top 100 Prospects section is perhaps better than ever.
The single biggest thing BP could do better is simply get better organized to put out a complete, higher quality product on time.
Then I started spotting errors with the stats. For example, in the Diamondbacks section it says Mike Hampton threw 41 innings for them last year and allowed only three hits, one walk, and no earned runs. WHAT?
Then in the Braves section on pitchers I began to notice that the games and games started numbers are messed up. Tommy Hanson pitched in 34 games, but started 40? Tim Hudson pitched in 34 games and started 36? What is going on? Very strange for a publication that prides itself on accuracy. Am I missing something?
Do you want an example of the smug condescension that runs throughout these pages? How about this on page 37, "Unless a stint as a talking head on ESPN's Baseball Tonight taught Showalter the secret of baseball alchemy, enabling him to turn Baltimore's diluted and watery roster into wine - which would seem unlikely, considering the intellectual and analytical powers of his cohosts- we should proabably...." That is about as smug as it gets and it turns me off from wanting to read more. On another page a political shot at Pres. George W. Bush seems out of place, too. I don't want my baseball and politics mixed together. I won't be buying anything from BP again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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