The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball

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University of Pennsylvania Press, Jan 16, 2014 - Sports & Recreation - 208 pages

From the front office to the family room, sabermetrics has dramatically changed the way baseball players are assessed and valued by fans and managers alike. Rocketed to popularity by the 2003 bestseller Moneyball and the film of the same name, the use of sabermetrics to analyze player performance has appeared to be a David to the Goliath of systemically advantaged richer teams that could be toppled only by creative statistical analysis. The story has been so compelling that, over the past decade, team after team has integrated statistical analysis into its front office. But how accurately can crunching numbers quantify a player's ability? Do sabermetrics truly level the playing field for financially disadvantaged teams? How much of the baseball analytic trend is fad and how much fact?

The Sabermetric Revolution sets the record straight on the role of analytics in baseball. Former Mets sabermetrician Benjamin Baumer and leading sports economist Andrew Zimbalist correct common misinterpretations and develop new methods to assess the effectiveness of sabermetrics on team performance. Tracing the growth of front office dependence on sabermetrics and the breadth of its use today, they explore how Major League Baseball and the field of sports analytics have changed since the 2002 season. Their conclusion is optimistic, but the authors also caution that sabermetric insights will be more difficult to come by in the future. The Sabermetric Revolution offers more than a fascinating case study of the use of statistics by general managers and front office executives: for fans and fantasy leagues, this book will provide an accessible primer on the real math behind moneyball as well as new insight into the changing business of baseball.

 

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The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball

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Most, or even all, baseball front offices now use varieties of statistical analysis, known as sabermetrics, brought to popular attention by Michael Lewis's Moneyball, in making decisions about their ... Read full review

Contents

1 Revisiting Moneyball
1
2 The Growth and Application of Baseball Analytics Today
23
Offense
38
Defense WAR and Strategy
57
5 The Moneyball Diaspora
85
6 Analytics and the Business of Baseball
102
7 Estimating the Impact of Sabermetrics
115
Appendix
137
Notes
155
Index
179
Acknowledgments
189
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Benjamin Baumer is Director of the Program in Statistical and Data Sciences at Smith College. He was formerly the statistical analyst for the baseball operations department of the New York Mets. Andrew Zimbalist is Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College, a frequent sports industry consultant and media commentator, receipient of the Henry Chadwick Award from the Society of American Baseball Research, and author of many books, including In the Best Interests of Baseball? Governing the National Pastime.

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