Return to BTF Research Center

Baseball Library 




Baseball Book Surveyby Greg Spira
Dan Szymborski's Positional Reports BTF exclusive - One of the most prolific posters to the* newsgroups weighs in with his opinions of today's players. He's been doing this for about five years now and his reports have been known to create emotional debate. He encourages feedback (even from the Carterites -- a little known baseball sect known to place an unrealistic value on the contributions of Joe Carter). For the growing legion of Dan Szymborski krishnas out there, Dan will soon be providing me with more positional reports. As a matter of fact, here is his 1997 AL 1B Report.
The Greatest Player not in the Hall of Fame BTF exclusive by Ed Nixon. Ed is a fellow SABR member gracious enough to contribute this article.
Designing a Baseball Cover by Richard B. Thompson
Hits and Errors in Everyday Life by Bill James. No, Mr. James isn't an active contributor to this site, but I stumbled upon this Forbes magazine article a short time ago and decided to add a link here. I enjoy reading just about everything Bill James writes, so I'm happy to share my good luck with you.
For Love, for Money, for Real Money - Life Expectancy Among 19th Century Baseball Players by Ed Stephan.
The Evolution of the Baseball Bat

to top


Pay Vs. Performance in Major League Baseball by Chip Hart
Frequently Asked Questions About the Strike by David Grabiner. The title doesn't do the page justice, David's page also includes many interesting subtopics related to general baseball economics. It's a great place to start learning about the business of baseball. The page references some excellent books about baseball economics. Do yourself a favor and borrow them from your local library; of course, that is after you finish reading David's FAQ.
Major League Labor and Management by Neil Weiner

to top


An Introduction to Sabermetrics by Jim Albert
Ball Park Effects BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. Ball parks affect each game's outcome. Isolating the effects is difficult, if not impossible. Here are few of my thoughts on the subject. I also include my 1997 Park Factors and a short article titled Using Park Factors.

The Batter/Pitcher Matchup BTF exclusive by Dan Levitt. One of the key questions facing baseball modelers revolves around determining of the outcome of the batter/pitcher match-up. When a .310 hitter faces a pitcher with a batting average against (OAV) of .290 what should the resulting batting average be?....

Batting Order Study by Roger Moore
Brock2 System Spreadsheet - Bob Collins updates Bill James' system for predicting a player's career.
Consistent Hitters and Similar Seasons BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. Which players had the most consistent seasons back-to-back. Here's a look.
The Care and Feeding of Young Arms BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "With Kerry Wood in the headlines recently, there has been a lot of discussion in the press about how best to protect his (and other young pitcher's) arm............................."
Estimated Runs Produced by Paul Johnson with foreword and afterword by Bill James.

Extrapolated Wins BTF exclusive by G. Jay Walker and Jim Furtado. Knowing how many runs a player generates during his time at the plate should only be the first step in the player evaluation process. With much help from The Big Bad Baseball Annual's G. Jay Walker, I've finally put the finishing touches on the offensive component of my method. Check it out.

Goodby to Some Old Baseball Ideas by Branch Rickey.

A Great Year for Offense BTF exclusive by Bill Gilbert. Bill takes a look at the rise in offense for the 1999 season.  He includes a list of players on pace for a .300 batting average, 30 home runs, and 100 runs batted in.

Hot and Cold Teams BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "Early in the 1998 baseball season, the defending champion Florida Marlins suffered through an 11-game losing streak. Which sent me running to my data base to discover the best teams of the 20th century (at least according to their winning percentage) to suffer through long losing streaks the following year."

How Does McGwire’s 1998 Season Rank with the All-Time Best? BTF exclusive by Bill Gilbert. Mark McGwire’s 1998 season is one that will never be forgotten. To compare it with other great seasons, Bill used a measure called Bases per Plate Appearance (BPA).

How to Calculate MLEs BTF exclusive by Dan Szymborski. If you've ever wondered how minor league statistics relate to major league stats, this page is an excellent place to start. Dan explains how to calculate Bill James' MLE (Major League Equivalencies).

Introducing XR BTF exclusive by- Jim Furtado. There have been a number of systems developed to predict runs scored from baseball's various events (1B, 2B, SB, etc.). Which one is best? I may be partial, but I kind of like my new Extrapolated Runs (XR). It's based on Paul Johnson's Estimated Runs Produced and is accurate and very simple to calculate. I hope you like it.

Looking for Clutch Performance in One-Run Games BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "You used to hear a lot (and perhaps still do) about a particular team's performance in one-run games and when you did, it was often used to either praise or damn their ability to perform in clutch situations. So I decided to look at which teams had the greatest differences between their winning percentage in games both decided and not decided by one run."

Methods and Accuracy in Run Estimation Tools BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. OK, you already read the XR articles and you're looking for some numbers to dig into. Get your shovel ready.

Pitchers' Hitting and Fielding BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "Pitcher's hitting has long gone ignored. It disappeared from Macmillan's encyclopedia after one wonderful edition and it is has never been included (except in special cases) in either Neft and Cohen's encyclopedia or Total Baseball......................."
Player Movement BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "Do players change teams more now than in the good old days? You hear grumpy old (and young) fans and sportswriters say this quite a bit these days, but are they right?"
Playing Every Day and September Performance by Harold Brooks
POWER BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. I developed a stat to measure a player's raw power which I call strangely enough -- POWER. It's similar to Bill James Isolated Power but instead of using ABs, I place Balls in Play (BIP) in the denominator. Read my reasons for making the adjustment and find out who the lumberjacks were in 1997.
Protection - Hit or Myth? by David Marasco
Ranking Relievers with Win Probability by Doug Drinen

Run Production Average (RPA)™ - Mike Gimbel. Mike is one of the best known sabermetricians around. He's also one of the few that has made his way into the hallowed circle of baseball's decision makers. Of course, this meant for a long time that the general public couldn't pick his brain for information about ball players. Well, luckily for us (and unfortunately for Red Sox fans), Mike is no longer employed as a baseball analyst by a professional baseball club. This means that the average fan can now enjoy Mike's unique insight into player evaluation. Here's an article that explains Mike's methodology. Additionally, there's a link to a description of Mike's new baseball player evaluation software, "Mike Gimbel's PLAYBALL!TM software."

RBI Production--A New Look at an Old Stat BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. People who take their baseball statistics seriously usually have little patience for the RBI. It often measures opportunity more than production and has been used by fans to prop up the reputations of some pretty mediocre hitters. When Joe Carter topped 100 RBIs for Toronto last year, I compiled a list of the worst hitters to knock in 100 runs.

Situational Hitting BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "We hear a lot these days about situational hitting, about how a hitter does with runners in scoring position, or with the bases loaded, or with--well, you get the idea. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to look at how ALL hitters do in each of the 24 game situations. Do hitters tend to perform better with the bases empty or loaded? How much does having a runner on first help (or hurt) the hitter? "
Strikeouts, Grounders and Fly balls BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "Are some outs better than others? Do the number of times a runner is advanced on a grounder or a ball is booted make up for the times the defense turns two or throws out a lead (unforced) runner? ..........."
The Importance of Winning Early BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "Near the beginning of the 1998 baseball season, Dom Zminda of Stats Inc. wrote a column for his America On-Line column. It dealt with the importance of the first few games of the season and started with a table correlating a team's mark in its first 10 games with its eventual record. ......"
The Last of their Tribe BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. An examination of the last two active players for each team that moved in the 20th century.
The 25 Best Hitting Seasons by a Catcher: A Comparison of Runs Created, Batting Runs, and Runs Generated by Jim McMartin. If you don't know what sabermetrics is, I can think of no better place to start learning about what Bill James defined as "the search for objective knowledge about baseball." After you've finished reading this article, read more of David's work at David Grabiner's Baseball Page.
The Sabermetric Manifesto by David Grabiner. If you don't know what sabermetrics is, I can think of no better place to start learning about what Bill James defined as "the search for objective knowledge about baseball." After you've finished reading this article, read more of David's work at David Grabiner's Baseball Page.

Speed and Opposition Errors: A Preliminary Analysis - Dan Levitt. My study compares team Speed Scores with opposition errors and opposition unearned runs to check if any correlation exists between team speed and forcing errors. Bill James' Speed Score is used as a proxy for team speed; the calculation of which is outlined below....... 

Speed Scores and Reaching Base on Errors BTF exclusive by Dan Levitt. In a previous essay I examined the effect of team speed on opposition errors. This essay expands the analysis by looking at individual players I examined the effect of speed on reaching base on error by looking at all 219 batters who had at least 300 at bats in 1980 using the 1980 Retrosheet files. As a proxy for player speed I used ...... 

Value Added Batting Data 1980 to 1998 BTF exclusive by Tom Ruane. "Over on SABR-L, Tom has been writing for some time about using the value added approach to evaluating hitting, stolen bases and pitching. This approach was originally developed by Gary R. Skoog in an article called MEASURING RUNS CREATED: THE VALUE ADDED APPROACH in The 1987 Bill James Baseball Abstract and uses Expected Future Runs tables to evaluate how much a batter, base-runner or pitcher helped or hurt his team. Expected Future Runs tables contain the average number of runs a team scores from each of the 24 game situations, with outs going from 0 to 2 outs and the bases going from empty to run. ............"

NEW What if Joe Jackson hadn't been banned? BTF exclusive by Dan Levitt. Alternative history by its very nature is completely speculative. But since others have estimated Jackson's career batting totals had he not been banned, I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look. ...... 

When Bad Things Happen To Good Pitchers BTF exclusiveby Tom Ruane. Do some pitchers suffer from errors more than others? Find out by readings Tom's new article.

Why Do We Need Another Player Evaluation Method? BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. Why have I spent a good chunk of my limited free time researching and designing player analysis formulas? Click the link to find out. But don't worry, you won't end up delving into the deep recesses of my mind. Instead, you'll find an examination of the myriad player evaluation formulas currently in use by baseball analysts.

to top


An Opening Day Tale BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. I've been playing Strat-O-Matic baseball for over 25 years. A few years ago, I made my first pilgrimage to SOM Headquarters with my father and my friend Bob. Check out this article to read about our trip and to see some pictures of the event.

Of Dice and Men by Thomas Boswell. Written in 1977, this article was the first evidence I found that I was not alone; there were others like me, baseball simulation fanatics.

The Best Strat-O-Matic Hitters Cards in 1997 BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. I present a look at the best hitters' cards for the 1998 set of the most popular baseball boardgame.

The Best Strat-O-Matic Hitters Cards in 1998 BTF exclusive by Jim Furtado. For the second year in a row, I present a look at the best hitters' cards for the 1999 set of the most popular baseball boardgame.

to top

Comments or Suggestions

Thanks for visiting the BasebaLL Think Factory. For information about contributing, to make a comment or suggestion, or to report a problem at my WWW site, please complete my Feedback Form. If your browser does not support forms, send e-mail to

Original material Copyright © 1996-2000 BasebaLL Think Factory
This page updated June 25, 2000.

Back to the top of page | Baseball Think Factory |