Sam Miller and Jason Wojciechowski
Baseball Prospectus 2014
This week’s episode features Sam Miller and Jason Wojciechowski, editors of the Baseball Prospectus’ 2014 (Wiley, 2014), a yearbook that both previews the upcoming baseball season and provides readers a look into the state of the art in baseball analysis, both in terms of advanced statistical metrics and, increasingly, subjective player scouting.
Though the book is not a traditional work of scholarship, it offers many of the virtues that one hopes to find in the best academic projects. It questions our assumptions, showing that what we think leads to success on the diamond, often does not. It builds on previous insights, positioning itself in the tradition begun by the legendary Bill James’ baseball abstracts from the 1980s. And, perhaps most importantly, the book has shown itself to be increasingly willing to be self-critical, evolving in its methodology as new evidence and ideas come to light. It is also, of course, a lot of fun.