Last year the folks at Acta Sports sent me a copy of the Bill James Gold Mine. Thankfully, this year’s edition found it’s way into my mailbox yesterday and I consumed it immediately. I’d like to highlight a few choice nuggets for you and see if they don’t generate some discussion.

“Alfonso Soriano led off for the Cubs in 105 games, but scored on a teammate’s home run only once. He scored on his own home run 29 times.”

I see some concepts that jump out to me right off the bat:

  1. Does this mean the order should feature Aramis Ramirez and then Milton Bradley, with Derrek Lee moving down to the fifth or even the six spot being someone like Soto and Fontenot in an effort to get more power behind Soriano?
  2. I’m curious to see what the disparity between scoring on your own home runs and other’s home runs is for other folks that hit for power. Soriano isn’t the prototypical leadoff hitter that slaps the ball. I’d be interested in seeing the numbers for someone like Grady Sizemore.
  3. 105 games at leadoff and we still won 97 games. What’s all the fuss about?

Kosuke Fukudome’s inaugural Major League season didn’t go as well as hoped, but Fukudome handled good pitching when given a chance. He batted .281, with a .781 OPS, against pitchers with a 3.50 ERA or lower.

I believe in Fukudome and I expect big things from him. He hit the good pitchers and he hit the bad pitchers. He just didn’t hit well against the pitchers in between.

I don’t want to give away too much more of the book, but I do want to give you a heads up on some of the other things included in it. Some of the other topics include:

  • Team by Team nugget pages
  • The 96 Families of Hitters
  • Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run
  • A whole article on Alan Trammell
  • Pitch Work Load Discussion
  • 2008 Clutch Hitter of the Year
  • The Ten Commandments of Sabermetrics
  • Answers to Unusual Questions

That’s just a snip. I’m telling you the truth. Go out and get the book. I don’t recommend books unless I truly enjoyed them and want you to share in that. Go get this one.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail