The Bill James Handbook 2023 is more than 600 pages long and thus it is hard to encapsulate what makes the book so interesting within a short summary.
But nevertheless we try. And we want to give you a full scope of what this book has to offer, in the hopes that you’d consider buying it
(click here if you wish to purchase)
With that in mind, here are excerpts from nine sections in the Handbook to give you a better sense of the kind and range of content we provide. You’ll find everything from cerebral discourse to entertaining and unusual anecdotes.
OPS and Runs Scored (Bill James)
“The relationship of OPS to Runs Scored by a team is exactly and precisely the same as the relationship of run elements to runs scored. It isn’t loosely a relationship of squares; it is precisely a relationship of squares. If one team has an OPS 10% higher than another team, they will not score 10% more runs. They will score 21% more runs. EXACTLY 21% more, on average.
“And if a hitter has an OPS+ of 110, he is not creating 10 more runs than an average hitter. He is creating 21% more runs than an average hitter.”
Xander Bogaerts rates as the hitter with the highest predicted injury risk entering 2023. He has the best chance of sustaining an IL-worthy injury.
“Since 2021, Bogaerts boasts the second-highest number of sliding, diving, and jumping attempts at 150. Sacrificing the body to make an out is great from a team-player win-at-all-costs perspective, but not from a health perspective. Given that he’s only made outs on 10 of his last 72 diving attempts, it may be better for all involved if that particular approach started to taper a bit.”
World’s Best Hitter (Mark Simon)
“If you’ve seen those pictures of Aaron Judge next to an average-sized player and marveled at how large Judge is, the gap between him and Paul Goldschmidt for World’s Best Hitter is now that large. It’s about the same as the gap between the No. 10 hitter, Jose Ramirez, and the No. 57 hitter, Jorge Polanco.”
Relief Pitching (Jackson Lewis)
“I’ll start by giving the Orioles’ relievers props for producing in virtually any scenario. Leading the league in ‘tough save’ opportunities and inherited runners doesn’t exactly make life easy, but nonetheless they delivered, turning in league-leading conversion rates for tough saves (72%) and overall saves (81%).”
Tough saves are those earned when a reliever enters with the tying run on base.
The Manager’s Record (Bill James)
“Brian Snitker was the most successful at choosing his moments for an IBB, giving up 21 of the suckers, of which 18 got the result that Snitker was looking for, which would be getting out of the inning without any more runs being scored.”
2022 Leaderboards (Alex Vigderman)
“NL relief opponents batting average vs LHB and vs RHB: The Diaz siblings top each list! So cool.”
Indeed, left-handed batters hit .101 vs Edwin Diaz and right-handed batters hit .107 vs Alexis Diaz.
Manufactured Runs, Productive Outs, and Unproductive Outs (Sarah Thompson)
“The Cleveland Guardians finished the regular season scoring 698 runs, 15th in MLB and just four runs above the MLB average. They also finished the season hitting the second-fewest home runs (127), ahead of only the Tigers (110), who scored the fewest runs in baseball (557).
“In this current baseball climate, those facts don’t usually add up. So where did the Guardians runs come from? They manufactured them. The Guardians co-led MLB in Manufactured Runs with 170 … What comprises a Manufactured Run is a little complicated, but know that sacrifice bunts, steals, hit and run plays, bunt hits, and infield hits are important.”
Win Shares (Mark Simon)
“I’d like to close with my favorite Win Shares stat. Mike Trout is MLB’s overall leader in Win Shares dating back to 2004. His 341 are one more than Joey Votto’s 340.
“Trout didn’t debut until 2011.”
Pitcher Fielding & Holding Baserunners & Hitters Pitching (Brian Reiff)
“Christian Bethancourt, meanwhile, made his long-awaited return to the majors this year – long awaited, that is, by two-way player enthusiasts. In 2017, Bethancourt played in 44 games as a hitter and 34 as a pitcher for the Padres Triple-A affiliate. Five years later, he only managed to make a pitching appearance in four games across stints for the A’s and Rays, but made the most of them, allowing only one run in four innings.”
We hope you enjoyed these snippets and hope you’ll consider buying the Handbook (click here if you wish to purchase).