Each of the past 3 seasons, I have invested in this jewel. Basically, it takes every statistic that you grew up thinking was crucial, and throws it out the window. Batting average/E.R.A? Not NEARLY as important as you would be led to believe, according to baseball prospectus. OBP/VORP//BABIP/WHIP, etc are the new "rage" in baseball, as far as statistics go. Basically, if you are a .300 hitter like a Juan Pierre of the Dodgers, but you never walk, baseball prospectus values guys like that as being pretty useless. A 270 hitter who walks a lot and gets a high on base percentage has more value, in their eyes. If you are a pitcher, this book analyzes not the fact that you can GET the out, but HOW do you get it......if you have a 3.50 E.R.A, the average fan is like "wow, that guy has good stuff." Well, according to this book, and their statistical breakdowns, if most of those outs occur via long fly balls to the warning tracks, then you are more lucky than good. They emphasize not letting the batter even hit
the ball into play. That's what BABIP means--batting average balls in play.
Overall, there are a bevy of new age statistics. For those who are also interested in this statistical philosophy, read MONEY BALL, by Michael Lewis. Reading these books will change the way you watch the game. They think concepts like the stolen base and sacrifice bunt are wasteful. Many of the teams led by these "money ball" guys don't do that sort of thing. They place emphasis on guys who can work the count, and pitchers who keep batter contact to a minimum.
Of course, despite the fact that overall, I think that this is a great book and concept, there are flaws. Statistical data cannot measure psychological factors. While many managers follow this philosophy, there are "old school guys, like Lou Pinella and Jim Leyland, who have had lots of success just going with their "gut" feeling. While it's important to have statistical data, sometimes, you just have to have a hunch for what is right and wrong. After all, baseball involves HUMAN. It's not quite as "robotic" as this book would lead you to believe.
Interested? Check out this link