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merkin Profile
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Bullpen Guard
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Registered: 02-2006
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First Baseball Book of the New Year


Just got my Baseball Forecaster in the mail.


Paid a little more to get it early, but is so worth in the cold days of December....


]Baseball Forecaster 2007


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
12/19/2006, 1:04 am Link to this post   
 
The Jacq Profile
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Ball Dude
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Re: First Baseball Book of the New Year


Well... Does it say anything about the Giants winning the World Series?
12/19/2006, 9:42 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: First Baseball Book of the New Year


I think "first baseball book of the year" should go to The Hardball Times Annual '07. Haven't picked it up yet, but if it's like last year, you definitely might like it. Some interesting articles and analysis of things you don't see in any other books.

How's The Baseball Forecaster, merkin? It's one of those books I've always thought about picking up, but never got around to it. I've picked up their Minor League Analysis book and it's definately an underrated and underappreciated thing. Lots of useful information in there from a stat guy who went to major league scout school. Nice mix of traditional and sabermetric evaluations.
12/19/2006, 6:50 pm Link to this post   
 
merkin Profile
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Thanks for the tip on the Hardball Times, hadnt seen that before...


I will preface my comments by saying im not really a stathead, but I have read quite a bit of Bil James and BP over the years. I am not an expert in the subject.

That being said, the forecaster is my favorite stat book. They focus on what they term "skill stats" rather than "performance stats".
With pitchers they provide a handy reference to DOMinance (K/9), COMmand (K/BB), ConTroL (bb/9)... throw in a little HR/9 and we have got your 3 true outcomes.....
Add to that Strand Rate (# of runners stranded) which usually flucuate around 70-75%, and you get a good predictor of future performance...

Batters have a similar approach, with EYE (BB/K), Contact Rate, Groundball, Linedrive and Flyball Ratios and so forth....

Love it, and love the way its laid out... easy to find players listed [sign in to see URL] you just get a little verbage on each player... less words but less BS that BP

---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
12/19/2006, 8:21 pm Link to this post   
 
MiddleRaven Profile
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Re: …


quote:

merkin wrote:

Thanks for the tip on the Hardball Times, hadnt seen that before...


I will preface my comments by saying im not really a stathead, but I have read quite a bit of Bil James and BP over the years. I am not an expert in the subject.

That being said, the forecaster is my favorite stat book. They focus on what they term "skill stats" rather than "performance stats".
With pitchers they provide a handy reference to DOMinance (K/9), COMmand (K/BB), ConTroL (bb/9)... throw in a little HR/9 and we have got your 3 true outcomes.....
Add to that Strand Rate (# of runners stranded) which usually flucuate around 70-75%, and you get a good predictor of future performance...

Batters have a similar approach, with EYE (BB/K), Contact Rate, Groundball, Linedrive and Flyball Ratios and so forth....

Love it, and love the way its laid out... easy to find players listed [sign in to see URL] you just get a little verbage on each player... less words but less BS that BP




Thanks for the recap. While stats like EYE and Contact Rate arent the most detailed, they are definitely very useful things to have and their Minor League book has a quick and efficient layout. Will have to pick this one up!

While BP has settled down in terms of what it uses to analyse players (EqR and VORP) and has the most accurate projections out there, I usually buy it largely for the commentary which is light-hearted and generally informing.

THT Annual (speaking from 2006) had no commentary on individual players but had some really interesting essays. They took a look at some of the less commonly analyzed things and showed those. Some of these were like the percent of Grounders, Line-Drives, and Fly-Balls hitters and pitchers created. They showed park factors for types of hits, too, which was very [sign in to see URL] the Bell is usually a pitchers park, line drives cause more damage there than in most other places. In any case, it's worth checking out at the bookstore, plus it's only $14 from Amazon.
12/19/2006, 9:45 pm Link to this post   
 
merkin Profile
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I like BP as well, and buy it every [sign in to see URL] commentary is helpful at times, but I find the projections and commentary too [sign in to see URL] still a yearly [sign in to see URL] have learned to take BP with a grain of salt over the years....



---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
12/19/2006, 10:34 pm Link to this post   
 
merkin Profile
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Bullpen Guard
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Hey MR

Have you read the Fielding Bible yet?
I read it last year for the first time and its interesting, yet still an unfinished work....
I;m really looking forward to this years version

---
"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
12/19/2006, 10:35 pm Link to this post   
 
MiddleRaven Profile
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Re: …


Actually, I picked that up about a week ago. Definitely an interesting look at fielding. You're [sign in to see URL] unfinished, but it was worth the purchase to flip through and see how certain players perform. Too bad the methods they use to track that stuff is so out of reach of the normal fan!

I saw some sites using pitch location data to chart the percentage of swings & misses and average per pitch location recently. I looked closer and found out that the info was provided by Baseball Info Solutions, the same company that contributed the ball in play locations/speed for the Fielding Bible. I contacted them to see how much that info costs. I figured it was out of reach for a poor college student like myself, and I was right: personal use costs about $2 grand, websites in the 5 figure-range.

[sign in to see URL] like I'm going to have to see if I can somehow auto-grab that data from MLB Gameday, since the new version tracks pitch location, trajectory, etc.

By the way, [sign in to see URL] is a good read if you haven't been to their site.
12/20/2006, 12:11 am Link to this post   
 
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HALL OF FAME POSTER
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I can recommend a couple of books I'm giving as gifts this Christmas....

Clemente by David Maraniss---a great read on my second favorite non-Giant of all time.(There was no Bob Gibson book this year)

Also, Shades Of Glory: The Negro Leagues And The Story Of African-American Baseball by Lawrence Hogan was absolutely fascinating.

Back to topic, my ritual "first book of the new year" is Teh Sporting News Player Register, a bible-like paperback I purchase every February that is stationed for at least a year within easy reach in the john.

All the information in it is easily found for free online, but there's nothing like examining Sal Fasano's stats while answering nature's call.


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**************
12/20/2006, 1:11 am Link to this post   
 
Bhaakon Profile
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I bet the Dodger sections come in handy when you run out of paper.
12/20/2006, 1:52 am Link to this post   
 


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