Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers: Adjusted Batting Performance from Strikeouts to Home Runs by Michael J. SchellBaseball's All-Time Best Sluggers: Adjusted Batting Performance from Strikeouts to Home Runs by Michael J. Schell

Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers: Adjusted Batting Performance from Strikeouts to Home Runs

byMichael J. Schell

Paperback | May 31, 2016

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Over baseball history, which park has been the best for run scoring?1 Which player would lose the most home runs after adjustments for ballpark effect?2 Which player claims four of the top five places for best individual seasons ever played, based on all-around offensive performance.3 (See answers, below).

These are only three of the intriguing questions Michael Schell addresses in Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers, a lively examination of the game of baseball using the most sophisticated statistical tools available. The book provides an in-depth evaluation of every major offensive event in baseball history, and identifies the players with the 100 best seasons and most productive careers. For the first time ever, ballpark effects across baseball history are presented for doubles, triples, right- and left-handed home-run hitting, and strikeouts. The book culminates with a ranking of the game's best all-around batters.

Using a brisk conversational style, Schell brings to the plate the two most important credentials essential to producing a book of this kind: an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball and a professional background in statistics. Building on the traditions of renowned baseball historians Pete Palmer and Bill James, he has analyzed the most important factors impacting the sport, including the relative difficulty of hitting in different ballparks, the length of hitters' careers, the talent pool from which players are drawn, player aging, and changes in the game that have raised or lowered major-league batting averages.

Schell's book finally levels the playing field, giving new credit to hitters who played in adverse conditions, and downgrading others who faced fewer obstacles. It also provides rankings based on players' positions. For example, Derek Jeter ranks 295th out of 1,140 on the best batters list, but jumps to 103rd in the position-adjusted list, reflecting his offensive prowess among shortstops.

Replete with dozens of never-before reported stories and statistics, Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers will forever shape the way baseball fans view the greatest heroes of America's national pastime.

Answers: 1. Coors Field 2. Mel Ott 3. Barry Bonds, 2001-2004 seasons

Michael J. Schell is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina and Director of the Biostatistics Core Facility in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the author of Baseball's All-Time Best Hitters: How Statistics Can Level the Playing Field (Princeton).
Title:Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers: Adjusted Batting Performance from Strikeouts to Home RunsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:408 pagesPublished:May 31, 2016Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691171114

ISBN - 13:9780691171111


Table of Contents

Preface ix

Abbreviations xi

Chapter 1: Fair Ball!: Why Adjustments Are Needed 1

PART ONE: The Methods

Chapter 2: Manager's Game Plan: Method for Identifying the Best Batters 11

Chapter 3: New Ball!: Historical Changes in Offensive Events 28

Chapter 4: Calling It a Career: Examining Player Aging 45

Chapter 5: Talent Search: Measuring the Spread in Player Performance 58

Chapter 6: Home Park Advantage: A Closer Look at Park Effects 69

PART TWO: The Findings

Chapter 7: Swing, Batter!: Adjusting Batting Average 101

Chapter 8: Hit . . . and Run: Adjusting Double and Triple Totals 108

Chapter 9: This One's Outta Here!: Adjusting Home Run Totals 118

Chapter 10: Changing the Score: Adjusting Run and RBI Totals 131

Chapter 11: The Count: Adjusting Walk and Strikeout Totals 149

Chapter 12: Stealing the Show: Adjusting Stolen Base Totals 162

Chapter 13: Putting It All Together: First, a Look at Traditional Measures 168

Chapter 14: Fantasy League: Baseball's Best Batters 177

Chapter 15: The Players Take the Field: Accounting for Player Position 189

Chapter 16: Final Score: Updates for the 2004 Season 204

Chapter 17: Post-Game Report: Conclusions 209

APPENDICES: Statistical Methods

A The Piecewise Linear Regression Method 219

B Moving Average Smoothing of Data 226

C The Multiple Changepoint Regression Procedure 228

D How to Estimate Ballpark Effects 235

E Transformations of Offensive Event Averages 247

F How to Adjust for Doubles and Triples 257

G Predicting Runs and RBIs from the Batting Record 260

Adjustment Data

H Regular Player Event Averages 265

I Event Performance Spreads 266

J Event Park Effects 267

K Home Run Park Effects 284

Player Results
L Best Individual Seasons 297

M Best Careers 327

N Adjusted Career Offensive Averages 356

Glossary 380

References 387

Player Index 389

Editorial Reviews

"Everyone knows that batting .300 in the major leagues is much harder than batting .300 in the minors. Although baseball rules and equipment change over time and parks differ, such differences in difficulty are ignored regularly by those who compare batters who played in different decades and/or in different stadiums. Michael Schell has painstakingly made the needed adjustments for eras, for park factors, for players' ages, and for variability in performances, so as to determine which batters really have been most dominant. There are many other treasures to be found here, and many methodological lessons to be learned and enjoyed by baseball enthusiasts and by those who think about player evaluations."-Carl Morris, Harvard University