Stat Geek Baseball,
the Best Ever Book
5th Edition
Paperback, 247 pages,
List price $20.95
ISBN: 9780974533872
Publication Date: 11/10/2013

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the BEST EVER Book
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The Book of Lists from the folks at baseballevaluation.com, now including the Best Career Lists for Batters and Pitchers for every Franchise in History.  All in One Place!

Baseballevaluation.com Staff Question and Answer Interview about Stat Geek Baseball, The Best Ever Book

Best Ever Book Details
Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book

FAQ Q&A with Staff @ baseballevaluation.com

How Many Best Ever Lists Are There?

Well, including the Top Seasons and Top Careers by each franchise's pitchers and batters, more than 100.

Has Stat Geek Baseball just made up these rankings off the top of their head?

No. The best ever lists in Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book, come from the baseballevaluation.com Player Rating decision model, a research study that took over 5,000 hours to complete and rated every player in baseball history. It looked at over 4 million stats and came up with nearly 2 million new ones of their own. And it's not a quick one, two, plus three system. It tracks correlations between how baseball stats of all eras compare and are valued by real baseball. At the heart of the model is PEVA, the player rating system for every season in a player's career.

Does it account for the different eras in baseball?

Yes, it does. The system can account for each era and be used to compare a batter or pitcher no matter whether they played in a time of limited home runs or steroid induced power.

How Can It Do That?

It tracks domination. How well the player dominated his time, the season, or the postseason involved.

What stats are part of the PEVA player rating?

Games, Plate Appearance, Runs, Runs Batted In, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, and Field Value for batters. Games, Games Started, Wins, Saves, Earned Run Average, WHIP9, Innings Pitched, Strikeout to Walk Ratio, and Home Run Ratio for pitchers. But it is not what each stat was, but its relationship to the other stats of the same year that matters.

Why Not Use Home Runs or a stat like Strikeouts?

Well, it would be a whole lot sexier if we did, but that wouldn't necessarily make the model better.  Not that we don't like the Home Run or strikeout stat, but we feel they are better accounted for within the numbers that we did use.  A Home Run is essentially counted twice in the Run Production category, being both a run and a run batted in, so it is in there.  As far as strikeouts go.  They do show up in the Strikeout to Walk ratio category, but we realize that some think it's more important than just including it there.  Guess we don't feel, and don't see the indication of it's value beyond an out.  Now, it's an important out, because it takes away the vagaries of fielding behind the player, but it's still an out.  And if you look at some of the best pitchers of all-time, including Cy Young and Grover Cleveland Alexander, they weren't great strikout pitchers, but they were great pitchers.

But then why use categories like Plate Appearances and Innings Pitched?

This is the girth of the system and we feel an underrated stat when thinking about value.  We call them use statistics, including those above, but also games played or pitched.  Without use, a player has no value.  These stats give us an underpinning of the entire value of a pitcher or batter, not only within a season, but a career.  We know others don't skew as heavily toward this as we do, but rate stats can get pretty bounced about, and sometimes meaningless, if the player is not on the field much.  Would you rather have 600 at bats from a outfielder with an OPS of 0.750 or one with 400 at bats and an OPS of 0.780.  We'll take the former.  He helped us win a whole lot more games.

What is your favorite section of the book?

No doubt about it.  We like the Best Career Players and Pitchers by each team?  It's not often you see this, but it is something baseball fans keep talking about.  Just who was the best Yankee pitcher ever?  What about the best batter from those Seattle Mariners?  And then there's the inclusion of the best lists from all those long gone teams.  It's a bit of stats and ratings and history thrown in.  We like that.


Are there any surprises on the Best Ever Lists?


You bet. Some players look a lot better when you compare gross numbers than when you look at them in context. And the Best Ever book of lists from Stat Geek Baseball is all about trying to find that. Hope you enjoy it!


Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book, 5th Edition
Best Ever Players Batters Pitchers Where Do They Rank
Alex Rodriguez Pud Galvin Ty Cobb Mel Ott
Tom Glavine Amos Rusie Ross Barnes Juan Marichal
Baseball Teams Their Best
Keokuk Westerns Boston Braves Seattle Mariners Brooklyn Dodgers
Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Richmond Virginians New York Yankees
Baseball
Evaluation Scoreboard
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Pitchers 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 2 - 7 12 1
Hitters 2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 - 7 12 1


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