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A Brief Review of Lee Panas’ “Beyond Batting Average”

September 9, 2010

With statistical analysis becoming rather popular in the blogosphere and slowly finding its way into the mainstream, it is important to have a guide readily available to not only help us understand the history of, but the derivation of the more advanced baseball statistics.  To my knowledge, nothing of that sort is readily available for the masses- at least, not until now.

Lee Panas of Tiger Tales wrote “Beyond Batting Average: Baseball Statistics for the 21st Century,” a 150-page book that covers these issues.  He works from the ground up, beginning his sections with the most basic metrics and ending with the more advanced ones- all the while offering brief commentary describing the purpose of the statistic, its background and often its limitations.  When possible, he also provides us with examples of how to calculate each statistic as well- not only giving us the means to understand what the number means, but how to calculate them ourselves.  It’s a rather easy read- Panas never gets too technical without first giving you the tools to understand it, and the most casual of fans will be able to follow along without a problem.  I’d highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning about sabermetrics or increasing their knowledge of the subject. This would make a perfect textbook, as it will never get boring to read- and after reading it, you’ll never be confused by these obscure statistics and acronyms ever again.  Seriously, this is the book I’ve been wanting to do for a while- and I’m glad Lee beat me to it.

You can purchase a PDF copy for only $7, or a hard copy for $14 here.

Hat tip to Grant over at McCovey Chronicles for reminding me that I need to promote Lee’s work.  It’s been out for a number of months now, and it definitely deserves a lot of attention.

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