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Tom Tango wants YOU to submit a scouting report for your favorite team.

If you're wary of defensive stats, fancy yourself a fine judge of talent, or simply prefer to mix your stats with crowd-sourced scouting, boy, have I got a gift for you: the 2012 Fans' Scouting Report. For almost a decade, Tom Tango has been asking fans for their annual assistance in assessing players' defensive abilities. Once enough responses are in, we get to look up the answers to all kinds of interesting questions, like "Whom do the fans think takes the slowest first few steps?" (Adam Dunn.) Or, "Whom do the fans think has the worst reactions/instincts?" (Also Adam Dunn.) Or even, "Whom do the fans think has the worst hands?" (Again, Adam Dunn. Hey, he does other things well.)

To see the full results from 2011, click here. To submit a report for 2012, click here. Remember not to look at any defensive statistics while rating players. "But I've already looked at some defensive statistics," you might be thinking. "What if they influence my opinion?!" The solution is simple. Clear your mind and meditate quietly until you can't remember whether Derek Jeter's career FRAA is a high number or a low number. Then vote. But maybe don't vote for Adam Dunn, unless you skipped the first paragraph.

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Our latest guest contributor tackles some of the popular new book's more controversial findings.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Phil Birnbaum is the editor of “By the Numbers,” the SABR Statistical Analysis publication. He blogs at sabermetricresearch.blogspot.com, where he has commented on Scorecasting in more detail.

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February 22, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Having a Ball


Jay Jaffe

Cork and rubber, not HGH and steroids, might be responsible for baseball's home run increases, which certainly aren't due to smaller park dimensions.

Amid the ongoing swirl of steroid stories this past week, I came across a bit of research that had me dusting off something I wrote three years ago. In 2005, I contributed a chapter to Will Carroll's The Juice (which arrived more or less on the eve of baseball's day in front of Congress in 2005), which analyzed some alternative explanations to the theory that steroids had been responsible for the home run increases which typified baseball after 1992. I examined the effects that expansion, interleague play, the changing strike zone, and new ballparks may have had on the rising homer rates, and wound up concluding at the time that none of them were likely to have driven the surge.

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