SABR Analytics Conference speakers

SABR Analytics Conference
March 9-11, 2017
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona

Here is a list of speakers, panelists and moderators for the sixth annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 9-11, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Randy Johnson
Hall of Fame pitcher
Arizona Diamondbacks
 

Bill James
Sr. Advisor, Baseball Ops
Boston Red Sox
 

Luis Gonzalez
Special Advisor
Arizona Diamondbacks
 

Jed Hoyer
Exec. VP/GM
Chicago Cubs
 

Jason McLeod
Senior Vice President
Chicago Cubs
 

Scott Harris
Director, Baseball Ops
Chicago Cubs
 

Jerry Dipoto
Exec. VP/GM
Seattle Mariners
 
Jessica Mendoza
Analyst
ESPN
 
Mike Hazen
Exec. VP/GM
Arizona Diamondbacks
 
Eric Byrnes
Analyst
MLB Network
 
Brian Kenny
Host
MLB Network
 
Jim Deshaies
Broadcaster
Chicago Cubs

 

 

Click here for a list of research presentations to be delivered at the 2017 SABR Analytics Conference.

Opening Remarks: Brian Kenny
1:45 p.m., Thursday, March 9

  • Brian Kenny is a host at MLB Network, where he appears across the network's studio programming, including “MLB Now” and “MLB Tonight.” A 25-year national TV and radio veteran, Brian joined MLB Network from ESPN, where he was a “SportsCenter” anchor, host of the Brian Kenny Show on ESPN Radio and an Emmy Award-winning anchor for “Baseball Tonight.”

The Analytics of Hitting, Pitching, and Catching
2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 9

  • Jessica Mendoza joined ESPN's “Sunday Night Baseball” full-time as an analyst during the 2016 season, the first woman to hold that position for a nationally televised baseball broadcast. In 2015, she made history as the first female analyst to call an MLB postseason game and the first to call a men's College World Series game. She has been with ESPN since 2007, also serving as an analyst and reporter for college football and the Women's College World Series, and as a contributor to espnW. Prior to that, Mendoza built one of the most impressive resumes in softball history, winning two Olympic medals, three World Championships, and two World Cups as a member of the U.S. women's national team. She was selected as the USA Softball Player of the Year in 2006 and the 2008 Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation. She was a four-time first-team All-American outfielder at Stanford University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 2002 and a master's in Social Sciences in Education in 2003.
  • Eno Sarris is a staff writer for FanGraphs, where he specializes in pitching analytics. He also takes the best public analytics findings to the players in the clubhouse to get their reactions. He has also been a contributor to ESPN, The Hardball Times, and he started BeerGraphs because he enjoys a well-crafted adult soda.
  • Moderator: Vince Gennaro is the President of SABR's Board of Directors and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, appears regularly on MLB Network, and director of Columbia University's sports management graduate program. He also hosts the syndicated MLB Network Radio program, Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Sunday nights. He is also the architect of the Diamond Dollars Case Competition series, which brings together students and MLB team and league executives and serves as a unique learning experience, as well as a networking opportunity for aspiring sports executives.

Player Panel
4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 9

  • Randy Johnson became the first Arizona Diamondbacks player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, following a stellar 22-year career in which he won 303 games and five Cy Young Awards. “The Big Unit” helped the franchise win its first World Series in 2001 and was named co-MVP. He ranks second all-time in career strikeouts with 4,875, the most among left-handers, and is one of just a handful of pitchers to strike out 20 batters in a game. He threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game in 2004. Following his retirement, he has dedicated significant time to photography, a pursuit that has taken him around the world and back. He now serves in the Diamondbacks front office as Special Assistant to the President and CEO.
  • Luis Gonzalez is one of the most iconic and popular players in Arizona Diamondbacks history, the first to ever have his number (20) retired by the team. His game-winning single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series delivered the first championship in franchise history was the highlight of a 19-year career that saw him record more than 2,500 hits, 354 home runs, and 596 doubles. He is entering his eighth season in the Diamondbacks front office, where he is the Senior Advisor to the President and CEO.
  • Moderator: Mike Ferrin is entering his second season on the Diamondbacks radio broadcast team, as the pre- and postgame show host and secondary play-by-play announcer on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and the Arizona Diamondbacks Radio Network. Since 2007, he has worked as a nationally renowned broadcaster on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio as the host of “Power Alley” and the on-site host in the MLB postseason and Winter Meetings. Previously, he was the play-by-play announcer for the Double-A Bowie Baysox and a sports producer and reporter for WGN Radio in Chicago.

MLB Now Panel
5:45 p.m., Thursday, March 9

  • Eric Byrnes became an analyst for MLB Network after an 11-year career as an outfielder for the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Seattle Mariners. He was a key member of the Diamondbacks' 2007 NL West championship team, hitting 21 home runs, scoring 103 runs, and stealing 50 bases. As a member of the A's, he batted .462 in the 2003 AL Division Series against the Red Sox. He has also been a contributor on ESPN, MLB on FOX, Fox Sports Arizona, “The Best Damn Sports Show Period,” “MLB Home Plate” on SiriusXM, and KNBR in San Francisco.
  • Vince Gennaro is the President of SABR's Board of Directors and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, appears regularly on MLB Network, and director of Columbia University's sports management graduate program. He also hosts the syndicated MLB Network Radio program, Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Sunday nights. He is also the architect of the Diamond Dollars Case Competition series, which brings together students and MLB team and league executives and serves as a unique learning experience, as well as a networking opportunity for aspiring sports executives.
  • C. Trent Rosecrans has been a Reds beat writer at the Cincinnati Enquirer since 2013 and covering Cincinnati sports since 2004. Previously, he was a national baseball writer for CBS Sports, and he has also spent time at Cincinnati's CityBeat, Cnati.com, and the Cincinnati Post. He is a a graduate of the University of Georgia.
  • Moderator: Brian Kenny is a host at MLB Network, where he appears across the network's studio programming, including “MLB Now” and “MLB Tonight.” A 25-year national TV and radio veteran, Brian joined MLB Network from ESPN, where he was a “SportsCenter” anchor, host of the Brian Kenny Show on ESPN Radio and an Emmy Award-winning anchor for “Baseball Tonight.”

The Chicago Cubs' Five-Year Journey to the World Series
8:45 a.m., Friday, March 10

  • Jed Hoyer is entering his sixth season as the Executive Vice President/General Manager of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Last year, the Cubs ended the franchise's 108-year drought by defeating the Cleveland Indians in a historic Fall Classic. They were baseball's best team in the regular season, winning 103 games and the NL Central Division crown, before knocking off the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs to capture their first National League pennant since 1945. Jed joined the Cubs in November 2011 after serving two seasons as the Executive VP/General Manager with the San Diego Padres. He worked in the Boston Red Sox front office with Theo Epstein from 2002-09, helping guide the club to two world championships in 2004 and 2007.
  • Jason McLeod is entering his sixth season as the Chicago Cubs' Senior Vice President of Scouting/Player Development. His influence on the 2016 World Series champions was clearly felt, as in his first three amateur drafts, the team selected outfielder Albert Almora, National League MVP Kris Bryant, and catcher Kyle Schwarber, all of whom contributed to the Cubs' game-winning rally in the 10th inning of Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians. Prior to joining the Cubs, Jason spent two seasons as the San Diego Padres' assistant general manager and six seasons with the Boston Red Sox front office, along with his colleagues Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, helping the team win two World Series.
  • Scott Harris is entering his fifth season as the Chicago Cubs' Director of Baseball Operations, where he assists the front office in Major League roster moves, player acquisitions, waivers and rules compliance, and salary arbitration and negotiations. He spent two years at Major League Baseball as the Coordinator of Major League Operations and was an intern with the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds following his 2009 graduation from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in Economics. He completed his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in 2015.
  • Moderator: Dan Migala is Chief Innovation Officer for PCG & SportsDesk Media. PCG is a Chicago-based team marketing advisory firm and SportsDesk Media is a next generation digital media, analytics and marketing company with clients in MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA and International sports organizations. He has helped design some of Major League and Minor League Baseball's most innovative revenue-generating concepts and has been recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for his creative advancement of baseball promotions.

General Manager Panel
10:00 a.m., Friday, March 10

  • Jerry Dipoto is entering his second season as Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Seattle Mariners. In his first four months on the job, he made more than 50 major-league transactions and has overhauled the team's roster, scouting, and player development departments. Previously, he was a Special Assistant for the Boston Red Sox in 2015 and the general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2011 to 2015, helping guide the club to the AL West title in 2014. He was also Vice President of Scouting and Player Development with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent parts of eight seasons (1993-2000) as a pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, and Colorado Rockies before moving into the front office in 2001.
  • Mike Hazen joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as Executive Vice President/General Manager in October 2016 after 11 seasons working with the Boston Red Sox, during which time they won two World Series championships. He was most recently the Red Sox's Senior VP/General Manager in 2016 following four years as the club's Assistant GM. Prior to joining the Red Sox, he spent five seasons with the Cleveland Indians, working in scouting and player development. He played baseball at Princeton University and graduated in 1998.
  • Moderator: Brian Kenny is a host at MLB Network, where he appears across the network's studio programming, including “MLB Now” and “MLB Tonight.” A 25-year national TV and radio veteran, he joined MLB Network from ESPN, where he was a “SportsCenter” anchor, host of the "Brian Kenny Show" on ESPN Radio and an Emmy Award-winning anchor for “Baseball Tonight.”

Bill James: "Are We Doing The Best Work We Are Capable of Doing?"
1:30 p.m., Friday, March 10

  • Bill James is the best known baseball analyst in the world and a prolific author of many books, including the Historical Baseball Abstract, Win Shares, Politics of Glory, The Bill James Gold Mine, and the annual Bill James Handbook. Forty years ago, in 1977, he began publishing an annual series of Baseball Abstracts that were treasured by readers as much for Bill's high-quality writing as his many statistical innovations. He is considered by many to be the father of sabermetrics — he even coined the phrase in 1980 — and has created many new statistics such as Runs Created and Win Shares to evaluate player performance. He is a founding member of the SABR Statistical Analysis Research Committee and was a recipient of the Henry Chadwick Award in 2010. Since 2003, he has been a Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. The team has won three World Series championships during his tenure.

MLB Advanced Media Statcast Panel
2:30 p.m., Friday, March 10

  • Tom Tango is the Senior Data Architect, Stats at MLB Advanced Media and is the co-author of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. He also developed the Tangotiger.com website, where fans and analysts will find a large number of research pieces devoted to sabermetrics. Tom has previously worked as a consultant for major-league teams in baseball and hockey.
  • Mike Petriello is a Stats Analyst for MLB Advanced Media and writes daily about Statcast and advanced metrics for MLB.com and each of the 30 club sites, bringing the latest in stats to the baseball public. He can also regularly be seen on MLB Network, is the host of the Statcast Podcast. Prior to joining MLBAM, he wrote for FanGraphs and ESPN.
  • Daren Willman is the Director of Baseball Research and Development for MLB Advanced Media. He spearheads socially fan driven content featuring Statcast in his work for MLBAM. He developed the popular data websites BaseballSavant.com, MLBfarm.com, and NFLsavant.com. Previously, he was the lead software architect at the Harris County District Attorney's Office in Houston.
  • Moderator: Mike Ferrin is entering his second season on the Diamondbacks radio broadcast team, as the pre- and postgame show host and secondary play-by-play announcer on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and the Arizona Diamondbacks Radio Network. Since 2007, he has worked as a nationally renowned broadcaster on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio as the host of “Power Alley” and the on-site host in the MLB postseason and Winter Meetings. Previously, he was the play-by-play announcer for the Double-A Bowie Baysox and a sports producer and reporter for WGN Radio in Chicago.

How Analytics Are Being Used in Baseball Broadcasts
8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 11

  • Jim Deshaies is entering his fifth season as a TV analyst with the Cubs after spending 16 seasons in the same role with the Houston Astros. He pitched for 12 years in the major leagues, appearing in 257 games from 1984-95 with the Yankees, Astros, Padres, Twins, Giants, and Phillies. He set an Astros rookie record with 12 wins in 1986 and helped the club win the NL West Division championship. Also that year, he set a modern-day MLB record by striking out the first eight batters in a September 23 start against the Dodgers.
  • Jon “Boog” Sciambi joined ESPN full time in 2010 as play-by-play voice for MLB on ESPN Radio, while continuing the same role for college basketball and MLB on ESPN, which he has done since 2005. Sciambi contributed to ESPN Radio’s World Series coverage as on-site studio host and provided post-game, on-field interviews for ESPN’s SportsCenter. Previously, Jon was the lead play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves on Fox Sports South and SportSouth from 2007-09, and host for 790 The Ticket in South Florida, and as voice of the Florida Marlins on WQAM from 1997-2004.
  • Mike Ferrin is entering his second season on the Diamondbacks radio broadcast team, as the pre- and postgame show host and secondary play-by-play announcer on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and the Arizona Diamondbacks Radio Network. Since 2007, he has worked as a nationally renowned broadcaster on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio as the host of “Power Alley” and the on-site host in the MLB postseason and Winter Meetings. Previously, he was the play-by-play announcer for the Double-A Bowie Baysox and a sports producer and reporter for WGN Radio in Chicago.

Diversity in Baseball
12:00 p.m., Saturday, March 11

  • Tyrone Brooks is the Senior Director of MLB's Front Office & Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program, which was established to identify, develop and grow the pool of qualified minority and female candidates for on-field and baseball operations positions throughout the industry. Prior to joining MLB, Tyrone worked in the Pittsburgh Pirates front office from 2009 to 2015, most recently as Director of Player Personnel. He began his career in baseball with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and spent 11 years with the team before moving on to the Cleveland Indians. He is also the founder of the Baseball Industry Network, which covers the full gamut of people working in industry of baseball.
  • Renée Tirado is the Senior Director of Recruitment for Major League Baseball. She joined MLB in 2016 and is in charge of directing the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to ensure the most effective utilization of human resources to support MLB’s staffing objectives, including the Pipeline Program. Previously, she was the head of Diversity & Inclusion, Americas for AIG, where she was responsible for designing and leading AIG’s diversity and inclusion strategies in the Americas, serving over 30,000 employees. Prior to AIG, she was the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the United States Tennis Association.
  • Sarah Gelles is entering her seventh season in the Orioles front office, having been promoted to her current post as Director of Analytics in April 2014. She has also served as a judge in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition. Previously, she had internships in the Labor Relations Department for Major League Baseball and in the Pittsburgh Pirates' baseball operations department. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought from Amherst College in 2010. 
  • Moderator: Vince Gennaro is the President of SABR's Board of Directors and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, appears regularly on MLB Network, and director of Columbia University's sports management graduate program. He also hosts the syndicated MLB Network Radio program, Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Sunday nights. He is also the architect of the Diamond Dollars Case Competition series, which brings together students and MLB team and league executives and serves as a unique learning experience, as well as a networking opportunity for aspiring sports executives.

Technology Panel
1:15 p.m., Saturday, March 11

  • Jordan Muraskin, Ph.D. has worked in the brain imaging field for 10 years. He is co-inventor on the Intellectual Property at the base of deCervo. An expert in electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), he holds multiple patents in brain imaging and has extensive experimental and analytic experience. He has an appointment as a Research Scientist at the Nathan Kline Institute and holds a B.S. and Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University.
  • Daniel M. Laby, MD, FAAO: Dr. Laby is the Director of Sports and Performance Vision and an Associate Clinical Professor at the State University of New York College of Optometry in New York City. He attended the George Washington University School of Medicine, receiving his medical degree in 1987. He completed his residency in 1992 and a fellowship at UCLA in 1993. He was also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School prior to moving to New York City in 2015. Dr. Laby has served as staff ophthalmologist for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, and he now works with many other teams — including four World Series champions in the past dozen years. He also worked with the US Olympic team prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
  • Brian Murphy is Vice President of Product Development & Strategy at STRIVR Labs, focusing on baseball training solutions and overseeing fan engagement and enterprise training products. Prior to joining STRIVR, he was Head of Finance and Business Development at Amplify Releasing, a movie distribution company that was acquired in 2014. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and played college baseball at Wake Forest University and Santa Clara University, graduating from Santa Clara with a degree in Finance.
  • Moderator: Brett Kurland is a professor of practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is the founding director of the Phoenix Sports Bureau of Cronkite News at Arizona PBS, where students cover professional and intercollegiate sports for a variety of professional media outlets. He is an Emmy Award-winning sports producer and multimedia entrepreneur with more than 16 years of experience producing content across a variety of platforms, ranging from mobile phones to broadcast television networks. Kurland’s work has included documentaries, features, live events and studio shows for numerous networks, including ESPN CBS, FOX and NBC.

 

For more information on the 2017 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics.