I’ve been a fan of The Bill James Handbook since it started publishing in (June) 2003. Now, 15 editions later, we have The Bill James Handbook 2017 (which was released on November 1st.)
On the back cover of this year’s book, John Dewan shares “The Multi-Dimensional Beauty of Baseball.” This is what he wrote:
Some people are captivated by the pure physical beauty of ballparks—whether in the major or the minor leagues, on a college or high school campus, or just at a local park or playground. For example, when people see the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field—especially if it is in October when the leaves have already turned and baseball is still being played—they are transported to a magical place indeed. For others, the enjoyment of baseball is in watching one of the greatest games ever invented. There is nothing better than the drama of a close play at the plate, the grace of a fielder diving and catching a ball, or the excitement of a runner taking off to steal second base in a close game. For many of us, however, it’s the numbers of the game that provide our greatest enjoyment. Whether it is just keeping our own scorecard or understanding the nuances of On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) or Wins Above Replacement (WAR), baseball lends itself to statistical analysis perhaps better than any other human endeavor—or at least any other human endeavor that is so much fun!
If that last part resonates with you, then you must get your hands on a copy of The Bill James Handbook 2017.
Every year, this book gets better and better. And, that’s saying something since it was great when it first came out in 2003. Included in this year’s edition you can find:
- Hits Gained and Lost to the Shift
- Long Fly Out & Home Run Breakdowns
- Pitcher Career Fastball Velocity Trends
- Career Defensive Runs Saved
- League Stats Breakdown by Position
- Expanded Instant Replay Coverage
- No-Hitter Summary
- Home Run Robberies
- Hitter Analysis
- Career Baserunning – including total career baserunning numbers (2002-present) for players with 1000 or more games played
- Pitcher Analysis – a brand new section for pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched with a table including: number of pitches thrown, batters faced, strikeouts, walks, fly balls, lines drives and more
- Pitch Repertoire Section detailing pitch type breakdowns for all pitchers in baseball
- Rotation vs. Bullpen team charts showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of each team’s pitching staff
- Relief Pitcher Section
- The Hall of Fame Monitor
- The Fielding Bible Awards
- Pitcher Projections
- Hitter Projections
- Baserunning Analysis
- Manufactured Runs
- Team Efficiency Summary
- Player Win-Shares
Where else can you find some of this information? And, the book comes out on November 1st – as soon as the season ends! Amazing.
This is the book that should be on the desk of every member of a team’s Baseball Operations staff – from the President of Baseball Operations to the General Manager to the intern working spreadsheets. It should be next to the microphone of every major league broadcaster covering a game. Big league managers should have this book at their avail at all times.
The data in this book is the code of the baseball matrix.
If you’re a baseball fan who wants the truth, there’s a million reasons why you would want to have The Bill James Baseball Handbook 2017.
Stats. Analysis. Essays. Reports. Leader boards. Projections. It’s all there in this one. The Bill James Baseball Handbook 2017 is the best of it’s kind and nothing else is close.