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by Thom Henninger, Jim Henzler, Tony Nistler

Major League Scouting Notebook, 2003 Edition : Major League Players and Prospects


The Major League Scouting Notebook, along with Baseball Prospectus, are my invaluable twin guides to the next baseball season. This is published early each year before Spring Training by STATS and The Sporting News, and gives the reader a ton of important information at their fingertips. All baseball announcers have this book for easy access to stats, and you should too if you want to know a lot about baseball. Like BP, I read this from cover to cover during Spring Training to get the inside scoop on tendencies from previous years and possibilities for the upcoming year. Each team has a blurb about its stadium, and how that stadium played for the last few years. For instance, things like batting average, home runs, singles, doubles, triples, runs, walks, ERA, etc. are shown and compared to the average ballpark. Scores over 100 mean that this particular park is higher than average, while scores lower than 100 mean the ballpark is lower. For instance, if Busch Stadium scored a 105 for home runs, that means 5% more home runs were hit there that year than in the average park. They give a 1-year and 3-year score to help account for fluke years. After this, the manager of the team is profiled, and his managerial tendencies are broken down. For instance, managers are rated on things like how often they sacrificed, double switched, and pinch ran and then compare to the average manger in their league. After this, each key player gets a few paragraphs on things like Offense, Defense, Base Running, Hit Chart (where a chart literally shows to what parts of the field and how hard a player normally hits the ball), and Scout's Analysis. Pitchers also get blurbs on their pitch selection and which pitches are the most effective. Players are given grades rating how big of a cog they will be in their team's run to the pennant. If you like baseball, you will enjoy this book. I get it every year and will for the foreseeable future. 708 pp.

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