In the interest of full disclosure, I am included among the writers in this year’s book from the guys at The Hardball Times, but I do not receive additional income from sales of the book. The opinions that follow are simply how I feel about their product, and not some kind of scheme to make any extra money for myself.
Sitting about four feet away from me is a copy of The 2011 Hardball Times Annual. I would love to give you a full review of the book, but that would require me to read the whole thing, and given the depth of content in this year’s copy, that will take me a while. So, instead, here’s a few of my favorite tidbits that I’ve picked up from the book so far, which double as reasons why you should go buy this thing right now.
Aroldis Chapman‘s fastball is four standard deviations above the mean for southpaws.
— Jeremy Greenhouse, “Scouting By Numbers”
Umpire bias in favor of the home team is pretty small, but it accounts for a little more than a third of the home-field advantage, which is not small.
— John Walsh, “That Was A Strike?”
Kansas City’s home park is truly unique in that none of the five fields are even close to favorable to hitters.
— Greg Rybarczyk, “Ultimate Home Run Park Factors”
For the 271 multi-year free agent contracts signed in the last seven years, 44 percent of the players had their highest WAR over the four years preceding free agency in their walk years.
— Vince Gennaro, “What Were They Really Worth?”
I’m not even halfway through the book yet, but it still stands out as one of the more interesting collections of ideas I’ve read this year. Studes has put together another book that really does have something for everyone, and I’d highly encourage you to pick up a copy.
If you buy it directly from Acta Sports, rather than through a third party, a significantly larger percentage of the sale will go to THT, and help keep them doing good work like this every winter. If you do decide to buy it from Amazon or another discounter, consider tossing a few dollars to the guys over there as a tip. They deserve it.
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