James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books - Fantasy Baseball Cafe 2014 Fantasy Baseball Cafe
100% Deposit Bonus for Cafe Members!

Return to Baseball Leftovers

James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby kaiser » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:10 pm

I'd like to buy one of those three to use in preparing for the three fantasy drafts I will be doing this year. I've never used any of them, or any books before, just magazines.

Bill James Handbook
Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster
Baseball Prospectus 2010

James, of course, is considered the godfather, but his book doesn't look all that geared to simple fantasy draft use. It is the one that most interests me on a reading leve, but may not be the best to use in prep for a draft, if I don't have a ton of time.

I've read some of Shandler's articles, and they always seem pretty solid.

Baseball Prospectus has the PETCO system, which is very interesting to me, and seems the most "ready made" for draft day use.

Anyone have any advice?
Image
kaiser
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
EditorCafeholicCafe Ranker
Posts: 5552
(Past Year: 307)
Joined: 8 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Genco Olive Oil Co.

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:40 pm

Yeah, James is probably the worst of the three for fantasy purposes.

I've never used Shandler, but I know a lot swear by him. BP's PECOTA struggled last year. Some think that the loss of Nate Silver has hurt them.
"I don't want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to chase it."
GotowarMissAgnes
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy Expert
Posts: 5516
Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Happy Valley

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby Verminator » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:07 pm

The Forecaster won me a league last year... it opened my eyes to Sabremetrics and variability in fantasy baseball. I think they are especially strong with the valuation of starting pitchers.
When it comes to exaggerating, I always give 110%.
Verminator
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor

User avatar

Posts: 407
(Past Year: 5)
Joined: 27 Oct 2007
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Gurnee, Illinois

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby Pochucker » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 pm

Im a Shandler believer --just the right mix of basic sabremetrics and common sense. Won my my league two of the four years ive used Forecaster -- that = $2000+ $$. You can dig deep for his strategies or depend on his basic analysis your choice.
Pochucker
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 679
(Past Year: 1)
Joined: 4 May 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby MaudDib » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:41 pm

James isn't much of a read IMO.

I have been a Shandler reader for about 5 years and it is pretty solid. Holds up pretty well year to year. I usually reread it after the season and his analysis is pretty good.

I have only looked at the Prospectus but it never seems to be as good as Shandlers.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."- Douglas Adams

Image
MaudDib
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamCafe WriterCafe Ranker
Posts: 8016
(Past Year: 380)
Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby kaiser » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:27 pm

Good advice, guys, and thanks for it. So far, it sounds like Shandler is the one. Good for me to hear, as his was the one I was really considering the least. I'll have to change my thinking.

Anyone else with an opinion?
Image
kaiser
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
EditorCafeholicCafe Ranker
Posts: 5552
(Past Year: 307)
Joined: 8 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Genco Olive Oil Co.

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby Matthias » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:30 pm

I have 2 limited data points.

I bought BP in 2008 and it had great depth of player analysis and player comparisons, i.e. PECOTA spits out who a player's closest historical comparables are with their percentage matches. That said, their projections weren't great and they really weren't fantasy oriented.

I bought Shandler's Forecaster this week and it's been a good read, very focused on projections, and very focused on fantasy. However, the analysis seems limited to making simple percentages or ratios and then telling you how they're not totally garbage because they predicted the right pitchers forty percent of the time versus say twenty percent of the overall pitcher population or whatever. Point being, I'm not sure if they've ever heard of a regression but they tweak and torque the numbers in the ways that they do and they claim they do better than random chance.

To sum up, if I wanted to understand players and understand baseball, I'd buy BP. If I wanted to win a fantasy league, I'd buy Forecaster. But then I'd probably buy BP afterward anyway because I would feel like I only had eaten sweets and no meat.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.
Matthias
General Manager
General Manager


Posts: 4860
Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby Pochucker » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:52 pm

I disagree that the Forecaster is focused on projections. They state over and over that all services basically stay in a comfort zone when doing projections. There thing is focusing on players skills. Its up to the reader to put numbers to there analysis --there "projections" are no better no worse than many others. What they lead you to is players that were "lucky" last year "unlucky" , players with improving or declining skills or players who have exhibited skills in past who might mature or bounce back. Its up to you to analyze PT opportunities and surrounding team on players stats.
Just off the top of my head, last year two players that I targeted late in the draft last year because of them were Werth,J and Jered Weaver
Pochucker
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 679
(Past Year: 1)
Joined: 4 May 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby Matthias » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:14 pm

Let me amend then.

Forecaster is focused on projecting player's performances in the current year with an occasional look into the years beyond. Even when they are looking at players' underlying skills, they're doing it with an eye to see if they were "lucky" or "unlucky" in the past year or if they're due for a breakout in the coming year. So even when they're not talking about projection of stats specifically, that's the purpose for which they generate their numbers and that's the destination they're driving to. Baseball Prospectus (in my view) is more of a longer-term, general view of players and teams. It just has more substance... but it isn't written with a fantasy eye, so if that's what you're looking for, Forecaster is the better buy.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.
Matthias
General Manager
General Manager


Posts: 4860
Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: James, Shandler, Prospectus: Fantasy Baseball Books

Postby Pochucker » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:35 pm

K guess we are saying same thing, im just trying to discourage idea of hard number projections they are all useless from all services.
Pochucker
Minor League Mentor
Minor League Mentor


Posts: 679
(Past Year: 1)
Joined: 4 May 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Next

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Today's Games
Tuesday, Sep. 2
(All times are EST, weather icons show forecast for game time)

Cincinnati at Baltimore
(7:05 pm)
Detroit at Cleveland
(7:05 pm)
Boston at NY Yankees
(7:05 pm)
Philadelphia at Atlanta
(7:10 pm)
NY Mets at Miami
(7:10 pm)
indoors
Toronto at Tampa Bay
(7:10 pm)
indoors
Milwaukee at Chi Cubs
(8:05 pm)
Chi White Sox at Minnesota
(8:10 pm)
Texas at Kansas City
(8:10 pm)
LA Angels at Houston
(8:10 pm)
Pittsburgh at St. Louis
(8:15 pm)
San Francisco at Colorado
(8:40 pm)
Seattle at Oakland
(10:05 pm)
Washington at LA Dodgers
(10:10 pm)
Arizona at San Diego
(10:10 pm)

  • Fantasy Baseball
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact