Svrluga: FanGraphs gives fans, front offices view to baseball’s evolution

From Barry Svrluga at the Washington Post on February 15, 2016, with mention of SABR member Bill James:

A decade ago, the serious baseball fan – serious, as in desperately wanting to increase his or her chances of winning his or her fantasy league – had few places to turn. Bill James’s annual “Baseball Abstract” offered groundbreaking analysis through the late 1970s and ’80s, but the concepts outlined in those books — serious baseball analytics that might predict the performance of actual players – were scattered here and there across the Web. Baseball blogging was in its formative stages. Most fans still hung onto the ideas that wins for pitchers and RBIs for hitters were enormously important.

And there David Appelman sat, home from college, living in McLean with his dad, frustrated with his job. To get ahead in his fantasy league, he regularly read the analysis on a Web site called As he sifted through the data, he thought he could apply the skills he was using at work – graphing all manner of information for AOL – and apply it to baseball. In August of 2005, to the notice of just about no one outside of his family, he launched

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Originally published: February 15, 2016. Last Updated: February 15, 2016.