Ladies and gentlemen, The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2014 is now ready and waiting to be devoured. It is the 10th edition of the book. That’s a momentous sort of thing, and it wouldn’t be possible without all the painstaking work that Dave Studeman has put into it — and the site — for the past decade.
This is my second year working on the book, and it has been a fantastic experience both years. I won’t bog you down with all the gory details, but suffice to say that this year’s book is pretty spectacular.
The cover, as which you have no doubt noticed is pictured above, was designed by FanGraphs alum Summer Anne Burton. And there are oodles of magnificent contributions from the FanGraphs and THT family. You can see the full table of contents in Studes’ post over on THT, but I do want to go into a little detail here as well.
First, there is some really meaty stuff in the analysis section. From Jeff Zimmerman’s work with some new data that we have on infield shifts, to Alan Nathan’s continued excellence on discovering the mysteries of the knuckleball, to Jon Roegele’s look at how the strike zone has changed, the section is chock full of good stuff.
There is no shortage of think pieces either. Dave Cameron has a great piece on that ever-present topic of working in baseball. Craig Wright looks at Roger Clemens’ legacy, and we have a great piece from Bill James about why hitting and pitching prospects are not created equal. One new tradition we started last year were our case studies, where we take a look at notable player seasons. This year, Blake Murphy, Mike Podhorzer and Carson Cistulli hit back-to-back-to-back jacks with their deep dives on Chris Davis, Jose Fernandez and Shelby Miller (remember him?) and Josh Hamilton. And Eno Sarris checks in with an awesome piece on the defensive positioning of third basemen.
And that’s not even all of the heavyweights. Joe Posnanski checks in with a piece on the 1986 Indians and what they meant for his career (and life), Jeff Sullivan details all of the catcher framing goodness that’s fit to print and of course, there’s Studes. Studes’ piece on ChampionshipAdded is a real delight for anyone who loves postseason baseball, which hopefully is all of you.
There’s even more than that. From Dave Allen, to Mike Petriello, to Chris Jaffe, to Rob Neyer, to Brad Johnson, to Craig Calcaterra, to Shane Tourtellotte, to John Perrotto and Steve Staude, the book really has some really great contributions from some outstanding baseball minds packed tightly into a 300-page bundle that’s easy to hold in the palm of your hand.
You can purchase the book now from Createspace, and I will update this post when it becomes available on Amazon.com as well. There will be both a paperback and Kindle version available there, and there will eventually be a Nook version available also.
Update: The book is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Update: The book is now available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle.