This week I got the Bill James Baseball Handbook 2007. At this point, having player career stats isn't that big a deal, since you can find them so many places online, with Baseball-reference.com and Retrosheet being my favorites. But Bill's book has some goodies that you can't find anywhere else.
One is leaderboards for average pitcher velocity. I'm happy to find that they include relievers this year, in the past they only had pitchers with 162 innings. They left Daniel Cabrera in the 2006 book because he just missed the innings, even though he had more 100 mph+ pitches than anybody.
K-Rod averaged 94.8 with his fastball, good for 8th among AL relievers. Among the starters, Escobar (93.1) was 6th, and Magic Santana was 8th (also 93.1). Felix Hernandez led starters at 95.2, and Verlander and Beckett were also close to 95.
In the (inter)National league, Brad Penny led with 93.9. Only he and Matt Cain would have cracked the top 9 in the American League. Zumaya (98.6) is well ahead of the top NL guy, Billy Wagner (96.3), further evidence that you need to use MLE's when looking at National League stats.
Then there's baserunning. First to third, second to home, 1st to home, plus miscellaneous bases (advancing on wp, balk, sac fly, etc.). Figgins gained 4 runs on the bases, (not including steals), the most of any player.
They had baserunning numbers last year, so I can use them to make a projection. The correlation between 2005 and 2006 isn't that great, so I've got to apply a good bit of regression. Almost all players project to within -2 and +2 runs for 2007. 7 players get the top rating, +2, including Figgins and the OC. Pat Burrell has the worst rating, -3, and seven others get a -2, including our old friend Bengie Molina.