Some people are finding the Guide at Barnes and Nobles and Wal Marts and other stores, and some are not. We don’t have any way of knowing which stores will stock it, but a call to the manager of your favorite outlet might save you a trip if they don’t.
There is one major error in the Guide. As I noted, I rejiggered the way I calculated the rates of the different stats, using component information. The results are that the baselines turned out to be much more interesting in and of themselves. That is, I’ve had to make fewer adjustments to take into account what appeared to be good and bad luck on the field. It will take more testing to confirm, but the first round I ran indicated that these baselines are more accurate, meaning they’re closer to a player’s talent before I intervene to tweak them.
The error was the result of a small error in the number of hits projected. For some reason the formula was projecting too many hits. Not too many doubles or homers, but too many singles. The system was also projecting a small decline in AB and IP, which is a pretty standard way to account for time missed due to injuries. The problem is that the two variables moving in opposite directions meant that the projections for batting average and WHIP were too high. I did lots of comparing the projections to last year’s stats and other projection systems and didn’t catch this error. So, in the magazine the projected BA and WHIP are systemically too high. I’m sorry for the mistake, which doesn’t change any of the prices. You can download updated and corrected projections here.
Another mistake: Juan Carlos Linares is found alphabetically in the C section.
I would like to point out that the most excellent mastersball.com writer/analyst and all around St. Louis Cardinals expert, Brian Walton, was left out of the credits for the Picks and Pans. My apologies to Brian.
A note about prices: When we make the Guide I put bid prices on all sorts of players who may not start the year in the majors. My thinking is that these reflect an estimate of what these players will be worth when they are called up, taking into consideration that they might not be called up or could be called up in September. As we move through spring training I start to convert these guys to minor leaguers. For instance, I don’t think Mike Trout will be starting the year in Anaheim unless they make some significant trades, so I’ve downgraded him from $4 in the Guide to an R1, which means that if he does get called up he has star potential.
But I haven’t yet downgraded Bryce Harper, because Davey Johnson is acting like Harper is going to break camp with the big club. I’m doubtful about that, but it still seems well within the range of possibilities. The point is that this process is fluid, and not exacting. Nolan Arenado still has a price, though he’s probably going to start the year in Triple-A, because I think he has a chance of changing minds. But he probably has no more chance of making the big club than Trout. The bid prices in the March 15 update will much better reflect the realities in the camps, though there will still be open questions we’ll be mulling over.