Baseball on the field rarely changes. The bases are always 90 feet apart. Sixty feet six inches is another norm. Nine men on the field is another thing that hasn’t changed either. What has changed, is the way we look at the game off the field. I am not talking about media interaction or the fan experience at the stadium. I am solely looking at the change in the way we view the importance of statistics. Numbers have always been an integral part of the game, but now all decisions are based around what the numbers tell us. Gone are the days of gut feelings, and hunches in player evaluation. Now it is cold hard numbers that tell the tale. There are so many new and different ways you are now able to analyze what you see on the field in this new age of baseball.
Baseball Prospectus is one of the books that is out there that gives a different look at the game. It is published on an annual basis, so you are always up to date on your favorite team. Each team is broken down into their own section and gives an overview of the past seasons fortunes. It shows the good, bad and ugly for each team and where the strengths and weaknesses are. It also breaks down the roster of each team taking a look at the individual stats for the player and a brief synopsis of their strength and weaknesses. It is a nice commentary on the players and you can get a real feel for what each team is bringing to the table this season. The authors also give their own commentary on each team and projections of what the upcoming season will offer. For the casual or fan this is a very informative book. For the hardcore fan there is more.
This book is strictly for the hardcore fan. This book caters to the “stat-geeks” and offers an amazing amount of information. The 2015 almanac has covered every major league team on all levels. By that I mean they offer statistics on every level of the team organization. You get the majors, the rookie leagues and everything in between. It gives hardcore stats that analyze every aspect of the game. This book also offers a look at the college level players we may see in the future as well as high school and then checks out the upcoming amateur draft. It does do some review of the past season and some team overviews, along with the previous seasons statistical leaders. What this book does offer is deep analysis that hard-core fans will find helpful. If you are looking for baseball by the numbers this would be the book for you.
Each of these book may be considered statistical analysis books but the offer something totally different. They each target a different level fan and present the information based on that specified audience. While they offer the same general product they have hit the mark in being able to appeal to different level of fans. As the game shifts to being even more numbers based, these books will only gain importance in the game we all love. I always say knowledge is power in the game of baseball, and this only proves it.