Plugging the THT Annual

In Dave Studeman’s THT article this morning, he provides a taste of what you can find in The Hardball Times Annual 2006.

There are several sections of the Annual, including a review of the 2005 season (divisions and postseason play), commentary on the 2005 season (such as Rob Neyer’s list of the biggest management mistakes of the year and Brian Gunn’s “GM in a Box” view of Walt Jocketty), a few articles dealing with the history of baseball (including two articles by Bill James, one of which focuses on Bert Blyleven’s record) and a rather large analytic section that includes many in-depth studies of the batted ball data we receive from Baseball Info Solutions, among other things.

In the article, Dave goes on to use batted ball data that many of the authors examine in the book to make a batted ball leaderboard. If you like what Dave does, and you should, then you may enjoy these other articles in the Annual.

To prepare for the Annual, we ordered a special data set from BIS. Specifically, we asked for all types of batted balls (outfield fly, ground ball, infield fly, line drive and bunt) hit by every single batter and allowed by every single pitcher over the last four years. In addition, the data set includes the outcome of every one of those batted balls (such as outs, singles, doubles, triples and the like). There was so much data, we hardly knew where to begin, but we managed to pack a lot of info into the book you just ordered. There are five articles that review the batted ball data…

- “What’s a Batted Ball Worth?” which calculates the relative value of each type of batted ball.
- “They Play in Parks,” an analysis of the difference that each ballpark makes on batted balls, with some very interesting findings.
- “Batted Ball Fielding Stats,” which combines the batted ball data to assess the fielding prowess of each team in 2005, laying the groundwork for David Gassko’s Range stats, which are listed in the statistics section.
- “Do Players Control Batted Balls?” a joint effort by J.C. Bradbury and David Gassko, which may be the definitive study so far of how much impact individual batters and pitchers have on the outcomes of batted balls.
- “Giving Players their PrOPS,” a year-end review of J.C. Bradbury’s PrOPS, including the leading over- and under-performers of the year.

I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to work with this unique data, which is amazing. I hope to unveil my new PrOPS-based projection system soon. I’ll also do another round SSPS when the next round of the Lahman Archive is released.

Order your copy today! This is just the beginning of the good stuff to come from THT.

FYI: I do not receive any royalties from the sale of the book, and I have no direct financial incentive to push the book. I would buy a copy even if I had not contributed to the project, just as I purchased last year’s annual and the THT Bullpen Book (review).

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