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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Prep: Bill James Handbook

For Christmas this year, I made three requests: 

(1) Beyond Belief, by Josh Hamilton
(2) Coldplay's Viva la Vida
(3) Bill James' 2009 Bill James Handbook

As you can tell from the title of this post, I received only one of these gifts... and for that I am thankful.

Nothing against Josh Hamilton or Chris Martin and the guys of Coldplay, I'm sure their respective products are great (and Grammy-nominated in some cases), but Bill James' 2009 Handbook is a priceless necessity to my fantasy baseball preparation.

Now, I don't expect everyone to begin their fantasy prep at the beginning of January, but, in all honestly, I couldn't wait to dive into James' predictions and see what he's forecasting for a few batters in 2009.

Two days ago, I started my journey through pages and pages of statistics.  Who would be this year's Carlos Quentin?  Who would be this year's Robinson Cano?  Who did I forget about already?

To say the least, any free moment I had in the past few days as been devoted to sitting in an uncomfortable chair, hunching over my copy of The Bill James Handbook, and crunching numbers in search of a few diamonds in the rough.

Over the next few days, I'm going to remind you all of a few players you should re-familiarize yourself with in the months leading up to Spring Training.  Before, I do this, however, I want to give you an indication of the scoring system for my fantasy league.  This is seen below:

I'll throw of the pitching categories later on... but for now, I'm focusing strictly on the offensive side of the playing field.  The rundown of events will begin today with Catchers, followed by First basemen, Second, Third, Short, OF, and Utility.  Again, all my statistical projections will be derived from those of Bill James and his team, so stay tuned.



Schruender said...

I think Bill James has definitely changed the face of baseball and has been one of the most inspirational people not just in fantasy baseball, but in fantasy sports.

That being said, I go back to what Sparky Anderson said about Bill James. In polite terms Anderson said you need to watch the games too.

bfadds said...

I agree 100%. In fact, I just was on the phone with my girlfriend (a, to say the least, removed-source) and broke it down for her in these terms:

During the off-season Bill James is a must. Without any games to watch or "realistic" stats to analyze, James, Shandler, and the whole lot of SABR-gods provide us with SOMETHING to hang our hats on during a long-cold winter.

During the season, however, there's not a stat to judge a "hard-hit" ball. Or a stat for "pitches-seen" before a hit. There's so many categories that aren't calibrated during a game that you can see with your eyes and nothing else that tell a story about a batter's approach to hitting.

In the end, I think there's a healthy balance that must be applied to participating in baseball...

...though admittedly, I love the numbers!