Price: $ 6.99
Read AHP’s criteria for reviewing fantasy guides here
Every year, among the guides I really enjoy reading is the Fantasy Baseball Guide Professional Edition. The reason for that is their broad stable of writers, multiple opinions on each player, wonderful explanations as to why they do, or don’t, like players and extremely simple format.
That being said, this is not a guide for beginners or those who don’t put a lot of work in on their own and use other sources. This is a guide by fantasy geeks and for fantasy geeks. Maybe that’s why they call it the professional edition since it’s missing many of the basics we’d like to see in a fantasy guide. Still you have to love the analysis.
In the following categories - let’s see how it scored.
Articles - A solid stable of articles, but each and every one which isn’t about rookies is about the personal strategies and tactics of writers who are successful in their own (and the most famous) fantasy leagues.
Top prospects - Covers about 40-50 rookies most of whom are ready to make it on the scene this year as well as a smattering to keep an eye on down the road with capsules on each of them. These were picked by a panel of the guide’s experts.
Sleeper picks - You won’t find a cheat sheet for the sleeper picks but there are a number of them scattered throughout the player profiles.
Boom and Bust predictions - Again, mixed into the player profiles where various writers nominate certain guys as either “picks” or “pans”
Medical watch - None.
Cheat Sheets - Check, but they aren’t the best.
Team Previews - None.
Depth Charts - Projected lineups, starters and setup/closers - None.
Mock Draft - Check, very good explanations.
Position eligibility chart - Check
Park Factors chart - None.
Information Key - This guide offers the best explanations for EVERYTHING they do in the whole guide - why they use certain stats, who their experts are and what their credentials are, how many teams the cheat sheets are based upon (25 in mixed league auction and 15 in the serpentine) so you can make the corrections needed for your own league.
Rankings by positions - Done based on projected dollar values, with historical trends for the top position players value over the past three years.
Internet updates - It’s hard to find, but if you look at page five they do tell you where to look for updates to the projected auction values.
Player capsules - This is the ultimate strength of this guide. The guide has far more capsules than most covering more players. They are in depth, well written and often offer several opinions of the same player thus offering a more balanced outlook on the player.
Bonus features which are nice to have - None.
Upsides: Excellent player capsules and in-depth analysis of tons of players. Perhaps the best section of capsules of any guide.
Downsides: Major flaws including lack of basic things we’d expect in a fantasy guide, including ballpark factors, depth charts and team previews. Poor cheat sheets when compared to other guides.
Overall: This is a fantasy guide for very advanced players who do a lot of research on the side and don’t want things nicely tied up in one package. In essence, it’s one weapon in the arsenal you need to build a draft strategy, and while it is one of the least flashy it’s a good one. This guide does one thing (player capsules) and does it well.
Give it 2.5 balls based on the strength of the player capsules, but don’t imagine you are getting anything like a complete package for this price.
AtHomePlate.com grades books with the following system
Four Balls: An exceptional book that truly earns a walk straight to the book story to get a copy.
Three Balls: This book stands out from its peers and is highly recommended.
Two Balls: A book worth reading/owning and is usually above average.
One Ball: This book has something to say but is nothing special.
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