Appealing to baseball's more analytical fans, the systematic analysis of game statistics—sabermetrics—has led to new ways to evaluate the players' contributions to the game, as well as insights into the game itself. But one problem has defied solution: estimating runs saved by fielders throughout history. Drawing solely on freely available baseball statistics, Michael Humphreys shows how to apply classic statistical methods like errors and plays made to estimate runs saved by fielders going back to 1893. He also introduces a method for adjusting historical player ratings for increased competition due to population growth, integration, and international recruitment. Position by position, Humphreys identifies and profiles the greatest fielders of all time with anecdote-rich essays.
"Michael Humphreys does for fielding what Neil deGrasse Tyson does for astrophysics: he takes an incredibly complex subject and makes a reader who once felt dumb feel smart. He has cut through the cloud of my unknowing and helped me to understand what major league fielding really is and how it can be quantified. Wizardry is the best book yet on the subject."—Allen Barra