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Baseball Prospectus 2012 Paperback – February 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
The 2012 Edition of the New York Times bestselling guide
"The Best Book Of Its Kind."
Now in its seventeenth edition, the Baseball Prospectus annual shows once again how it became the industry leader: the 2012 edition includes key stat categories, more controversial player predictions, and the kind of wise, witty baseball commentary that makes this phone-book-thick tome worth reading cover to cover.
Baseball Prospectus 2012 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 2012 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."
"For me, every year baseball begins with the big, brilliant, beautiful book you are holding in your hands right now."
"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 2011 correctly predicted:
The collapse of 2010 stars Vernon Wells, Trevor Cahill, and Austin Jackson, as well as serious regression for Josh Hamilton and Ubaldo Jimenez
Strong comebacks for Pablo Sandoval and Carlos Beltran, as well as Dan Haren's strong finish with the Angels being a better indicator of 2011 performance than his pre-trade struggles with the D-Backs
Breakout seasons from Michael Pineda, Desmond Jennings, Danny Espinosa, Craig Kimbrel, and Jeremy Hellickson
That Albert Pujols plus the Cardinals' starting rotation would still be a recipe for success
That the Diamondbacks had a much brighter immediate future than the typical last-place club
That Dave Dombrowski's roster restructuring in Detroit would lead the Tigers back into contention
About the Author
Baseball Prospectus is America's leading provider of statistical analysis for baseball, combining entertaining commentary and accurate forecasting via books, blogs, articles, and a website.
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Top customer reviews
The purpose of this book (Page ix): "Baseball Prospectus 2012, like its predecessors, is an attempt to make sense of the chaos, not just the sometimes tragic chaos of those cold months, but also the wonderful bedlam that makes up any baseball season any summer, and more importantly, what it means for the coming season and beyond." This work begins with a discussion of statistics--both on offense and defense and pitching. On offense, the "True Average" is a key metric. Note that a TAv of .260 is average, .300 exceptional, and .200 awful (TAv is a conglomerate measure including power, walking, striking out, and making "productive outs"). Then, there is PECOTA--projections for the coming season.
Let's take a look at the Chicago Cubs. Their best offensive player, by the PECOTA score, should be Geovany Soto. The Chicago White Sox? Paul Konerko has the highest projected true average--.297. One element in the player descriptions is the analogous players to the one named. Konerko's doppelgangers? Stan Musial, Kevin Mitchell, and Rafael Palmeiro. Not bad company! The most intriguing projection? Adam Dunn, after a disastrous 2011 season, is projected to have a TAv of .292. We shall see! And we see projections and actual records on a team by team basis, from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Washington Nationals.
Other features--the top 101 prospects for the major leagues (Matt Moore, pitcher for the Rays) comes in as the number 1 prospect; the PECOTA leaderboard.
Another baseball season has begun! And this work helps make that a little bit more enjoyable.
BP makes a lot of other predictions for hitters (e.g., AVG,OBP, SLG, TAv) and for pitchers (e.g., BB/9, K/9, GB%, BABIP, WHIP, ERA, FIP, WARP) but never publishes it accuracy or error rate. BP never even indicates that it tracts these data. If those who make forecasts do not evaluate them, it's likely prediction accuracy will never improve. I strongly encourage BP to start reporting these error or accuracy data.
It provides several years' worth of stats, as well as projections and comparisons to other players. I wish it had a better guide to what each statistic meant; we had to look up a sort of glossary for that online and make an addendum in a binder for Dad's extra fantasy baseball information. The book is so complete and thorough in terms of information about the players, once we understood what each stat was, it really cut back on the amount of time he spends researching on various sites to build his time, and he's been able to better focus on actually putting together teams.
Every baseball team has a team synopsis written out with projections for the year before discussing the players of that team, and there's very useful information that's easy to read. There's also enough room in the margins to make notes.
He's purchased other baseball stat books in the past, but nothing really compares to BP. The only real complaint I heard from him regarding the book was the silly nature of the introduction; I guess they're trying to be coy and market it to young people. Of course, it's easy enough to skip that part. If anyone could recommend an equally good pro football guide, please comment!
1. The players are ordered by teams with hitters first followed by pitchers in alphabetical order. There's a great index by name as well. The front matter talks in great detail about the statistics used in the text, explaining the analytic approach in excrutiating but fun detail.
2. Each team has a few pages of sumnmary discussion followed by player stats/descriptions. The player stats are presented for the prior 3 years and they include projections for the 2012 season.
3. The best part: the analysts provide a text summary of the player in plain English terms -- the comments can be sarcastic, funny, biting, and even hilarious. I often quote from the book at my baseball draft auction. The Manny Ramirez quote, for example, "Everyone's favorite idiot showed a new level of stupidity by violating baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy for the second time. Manny's bay area retreat lasted only slightly longer than the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba as Ramirez retired rather than sit out 100 games...." Great stuff.
Buy this book. Now.