SABR Analytics Conference speakers

Schedule of events Featured speakers Diamond Dollars Case Competition
Research Presentations Sponsors SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards


SABR Analytics Conference
March 12-14, 2015
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona

Here is a list of speakers, panelists and moderators for the fourth annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 12-14, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Conference registration is available now at the SABR Store. Click here to register. The conference is open to all baseball fans.

Tony La Russa
Chief Baseball Officer
Arizona Diamondbacks

Larry Baer
San Francisco Giants

Jeff Bridich
Colorado Rockies

Curt Schilling

Brian Kenny
MLB Network

Dave Stewart
Arizona Diamondbacks

Doug Glanville

Jon Sciambi

Jim Callis
Senior Writer

John Kruk

Eduardo Perez

John Thorn
Official Historian

Please note: All speakers subject to change due to availability.

Here is the schedule and information on the featured panels at the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference:

Opening Remarks: Brian Kenny: The MLB Network host will welcome attendees to the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference with a talk on the state of baseball analytics. 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 12.

  • Brian Kenny, Host, MLB Network: Brian is the host of MLB Network's critically acclaimed “Clubhouse Confidential,” where he incorporates sabermetrics into the day's baseball news. 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.”

Player Panel: Three longtime Major League players will discuss how players feel about the role of analytics in the game today. 2:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12.

  • Doug Glanville, Analyst, ESPN: Doug spent nine years in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers from 1996-2004 before joining ESPN as an analyst on “Baseball Tonight.” A first-round selection by the Cubs in 1991, he maintained a 293-game errorless streak in center field over three seasons and finished his career with exactly 1,100 hits. He is the author of The Game From Where I Stand, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in engineering and serves on the board of the MLB Players Alumni Association. 
  • John Kruk, Analyst, ESPN: John was a three-time All-Star outfielder/first baseman who now serves as an analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and “Baseball Tonight.” He joined ESPN in 2004, making his debut during a Spring Training telecast between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. In March 2006, he also provided game analysis for several World Baseball Classic and Spring Training telecasts on ESPN. John retired in 1995 following a 10-year Major League career with the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Chicago White Sox, in which he posted a .300 batting average with 100 home runs and 592 RBIs. 
  • Curt Schilling, Analyst, ESPN: Curt is considered one of the great postseason pitchers of all time, having won a World Series game with three different franchises. His 2004 Game 6 ALCS performance with a sutured tendon dressed in a bloody sock was the defining image in one of baseball's all-time playoff comebacks and an inspiration in overturning the Boston Red Sox's 86-year-old World Series drought. His on-field performance rose when it mattered most. During postseason play, he went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and garnered a World Series co-MVP in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and NLCS MVP in 1993 with the Philadelphia Phillies. For his career, he recorded 216 wins and 3,116 strikeouts while only walking 711. He joined ESPN as a baseball analyst in 2010, and appears on “Baseball Tonight” and other news and information programming.
  • Moderator: Brian Kenny, Host, MLB Network: Brian is the host of MLB Network's critically acclaimed “Clubhouse Confidential,” where he incorporates sabermetrics into the day's baseball news. 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.”

BSports Presentation: Hear a special presentation by Bill Squadron, Executive Vice President, Pro Analytics, BSports. 5:15 p.m., Thursday, March 12.

  • Bill Squadron, Executive Vice President, Pro Analytics, BSports: BSports, formerly Bloomberg Sports, provides data, statistical analysis and visualizations for sports professionals and fans. From 1997 to 2003, Bill was co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Sportvision, pushing for television innovations such as the yellow first down marker in football, NASCAR Race f/x and the “K Zone” baseball tracking system.

Analytics in the Broadcasters Booth: This panel will offer perspective from Major League play-by-play announcers on how they use analytics in the broadcast booth. 6:00 p.m., Thursday, March 12.

  • Steve Berthiaume, Broadcaster, Arizona Diamondbacks: Steve is entering his third season as the Diamondbacks' television play-by-play voice on FOX Sports Arizona alongside analyst Bob Brenly. He previously spent 12 years at ESPN as a “SportsCenter” anchor from 1999-2005 and 2007-12 as studio host for the award-winning “Baseball Tonight” while also working as a play-by-play announcer for ESPN's league-wide MLB package as well as the College World Series Super Regional. In 2006, he worked for the New York Mets as a studio host for the SNY network. He also spent three years as a sports anchor at CNN in Atlanta and worked as a sports anchor and reporter for network television affiliates in Connecticut, Florida, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.
  • Jon “Boog” Sciambi, Announcer, ESPN: Jon 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, Sciambi 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.
  • Moderator: Joe Block, Broadcaster, Milwaukee Brewers: Joe is entering his second season with the Brewers' radio broadcast team. With more than 10 years of broadcasting experience, he has called the action for more than 900 professional baseball games, including the Jacksonville Suns (2003-06), Great Falls White Sox (2007) and Billings Mustangs (2010), among others. He also handled play-by-play for select games during the Expos' final two seasons in Montreal (2003-04). Recently, Block served as postgame show host on radio for the Los Angeles Dodgers on KABC-AM (2011) and was radio studio host for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets (2007-11). He has also handled play-by-play for major college basketball and football for various regional networks over the past 10 years.

One on One: Larry Baer: Join us to hear from San Francisco Giants President/CEO Larry Baer at the SABR Analytics Conference. 8:30 a.m., Friday, March 13.

  • Larry Baer, President/CEO, San Francisco Giants: Larry's tenure with the Giants began in 1992, when he was named Executive Vice President, and he is responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the Giants, both on the business and baseball sides. Under his direction, the Giants have won World Series championships in 2010 and 2012, and opened Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park) to widespread acclaim in 2000. He was the driving force behind every phase of the ballpark project, including the original design by HOK Sports; the successful voter campaign in March 1996; the private financing package that featured the highly successful Charter Seat program; the unprecedented drive to secure a record 28,000 full-season ticket holders, and the final construction of the facility — a San Francisco landmark. Larry has also been a key strategist and negotiator in all of the club's major transactions beginning with the Barry Bonds signing in November 1992 through the awarding of the 2007 All-Star Game. He was named team president in 2008 and CEO in 2012.
  • Moderator: Vince Gennaro, SABR President: Vince is the President of SABR, the director of Columbia University's sports management graduate program, a consultant to MLB teams, and the host of Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Sunday nights. He is also the author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball and a regular contributor to MLB Network. 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 unique learning experience, as well as a networking opportunity for aspiring sports executives. This follows a successful business career, which includes diverse roles — CEO of an early stage public company, president of a billion-dollar division of PepsiCo, and ownership of a women’s pro basketball franchise. He is on the Advisory Board of The Perfect Game Foundation, which is dedicated to helping young people build a career in sports. 

One on One: Tony La Russa: Join us to hear from Arizona Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer and Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa at the SABR Analytics Conference. 9:30 a.m., Friday, March 13.

  • Tony La Russa, Chief Baseball Officer, Arizona Diamondbacks: Tony joined the Diamondbacks front office in 2014 following a Hall of Fame managerial career in which his teams won three World Series and six pennants. He finished his 33-year career with 2,728 victories — the third-highest total in baseball history — and he was honored four times as Manager of the Year. He led the Oakland A's to the 1989 World Series title and the St. Louis Cardinals to championships in 2006 and 2011. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
  • Moderator: Ken Rosenthal, MLB Network/ Ken is a Baseball Insider for MLB Network and regularly appears on MLB Tonight and Hot Stove. A sportswriter for more than 20 years, he also is's senior baseball writer and a weekly contributor to the Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week. On-air since 2005, he serves as the field reporter during Fox Sports' featured baseball matchup.

General Managers Panel: This panel will discuss how major league front offices are using analytics to develop a competitive edge and stay ahead of their competition. 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 13.

  • Jeff Bridich, Senior VP/General Manager, Colorado Rockies: Jeff is entering his first season as GM of the Rockies, succeeding Dan O'Dowd as the third GM in franchise history. He has spent 10 years in a leadership role within the Rockies' baseball operations department, most recently as Senior Director of Player Development since 2011. He joined the Rockies' front office in 2004 as Manager of Minor League Operations and operated as the Senior Director of Baseball Operations from 2006-11. Topps honored his department as the the Organization of the Year in 2013. Jeff came to Colorado after working in the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball from 2001-04. He worked closely with each Major League team in Minor League contracts and transactions. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
  • Dave Stewart, Senior VP/General Manager, Arizona Diamondbacks: Dave was hired as the Diamondbacks' GM in September 2014 following a dozen years as a player agent and a 16-season major-league career as one of the top pitchers in baseball. He was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1981 World Series championship team and had stints with the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies before moving on to Oakland, where he won at least 20 games in four consecutive seasons, leading the A's to three American League pennants from 1988-90. He was the World Series MVP in 1989 and pitched a no-hitter on June 29, 1990. He was also a two-time ALCS MVP with the A's in 1990 and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, when he was part of a third World Series-winning team. He spent time as a major-league pitching coach and front-office executive before forming his sports agency in 2002.
  • Moderator: Brian Kenny, Host, MLB Network: Brian is the host of MLB Network's critically acclaimed “Clubhouse Confidential,” where he incorporates sabermetrics into the day's baseball news. 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.”

Origins of Baseball Analytics: Our panelists were pioneers in the early days of modern baseball analysis; they will discuss the evolution of sabermetrics and a path for its future. 2:15 p.m., Friday, March 13.

  • Dick Cramer, SABR: Dick is an early pioneer in baseball statistical analysis. With Pete Palmer, he co-founded SABR's groundbreaking Statistical Analysis Committee in the 1970s and STATS, LLC, in 1981, working closely with future General Managers Doug Melvin and Dan Evans. He has written many articles in the Baseball Research Journal and actively contributes to Retrosheet. He received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in Chemistry and Physics in 1963 and his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. He currently serves as Senior Vice President, Science, and Chief Scientific Officer for Tripos, a Certara Company.
  • John Dewan, Owner, Baseball Info Solutions: John is the owner of Baseball Info Solutions, which collects, analyzes and disseminates the most in-depth data in the industry with more than a dozen Major League Baseball teams as clients. He is also the co-publisher of ACTA Sports, a division of ACTA Publications, which publishes books on statistical baseball analysis, including the annual Bill James Handbook and other sports titles. John’s three-volume set of The Fielding Bible books break new ground in an area that has been the least analyzed in baseball: defense. His Plus/Minus System and Defensive Runs Saved are a direct application of actuarial and sabermetric techniques. Before founding BIS, John was President and CEO of STATS, Inc., following a highly successful career as an insurance actuary.
  • Pete Palmer, SABR: A mathematician and analyst; an encyclopedist and author; a historical sleuth and statistical innovator; a researchers’ invaluable guide and friendly collaborator — Pete has been at the forefront of the new approaches to how we think about the game. He has devised new stats (On Base Plus Slugging, Linear Weights, and more) and retraced the steps of statisticians of yore to correct their tabulations. His contributions to the game have been as particular as correcting Ty Cobb’s hit total and as grand as restating and evaluating all the game’s historical records through the prism of modern statistical measures. He was the first to recognize the mathematical relationship between runs and wins, and the one most responsible for the introduction of On Base Percentage into common parlance. The Hidden Game of Baseball, co-authored with John Thorn and published in 1984, remains a touchstone for sabermetric thought. Palmer’s encyclopedic work commenced in the 1970s when he edited the venerable Turkin-Thompson Official Encyclopedia of Baseball, originally issued in 1951. From 1989 through 2001 he and Thorn published seven editions of the groundbreaking encyclopedia Total Baseball. Beginning in 2004 he and Gary Gillette combined to issue The Baseball Encyclopedia, endorsed in subsequent years by ESPN.
  • John Thorn, Official Historian, Major League Baseball: John was named as MLB's Official Historian by Commissioner Bud Selig in March 2011, succeeding the late Jerome Holtzman. He is a longtime SABR member who was the recipient of the Society's highest honor, the Bob Davids Award, in 2006. He is the author and editor of numerous books. His works include Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, published in 2011 by Simon & Schuster; Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame; the Total Baseball encyclopedia series; The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957; The Armchair Book of Baseball; and The Hidden Game of Baseball. He is the founding editor of McFarland's Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game and creator of SABR's The National Pastime. He served as the senior creative consultant for Ken Burns' Baseball series and appears regularly as a television commentator on MLB Network, ESPN, PBS, and The History Channel. He is a renowned expert on the early origins of baseball; in 2004, he revealed the existence of a Pittsfield, Massachusetts, statute prohibiting the play of baseball in 1791. He has written essays and articles for many publications, including The Sporting News, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, American Heritage, and VOICES, the publication of the New York Folklore Society.
  • John Walsh, former Executive Vice President and Executive Editor, ESPN: Since joining ESPN in 1988, John's fingerprints have been on many of the network’s largest initiatives and launches. Walsh served as Executive Vice President and Executive Editor for more than two decades. He oversaw the launch of ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio; was instrumental in developing the many news and information elements within ESPN, including networks and new shows; and led the editorial direction of and its properties. He also has served as chairman of ESPN’s editorial board. John had served as a consultant to the company since July 1987 before being hired in January 1988 as managing editor. In that role, he was responsible for the editorial content of all news and informational programming, including "SportsCenter," ESPN’s flagship sports news program.

Impact of Analytics on the Field: This panel will focus on how on-field personnel — players, managers, and coaches — can better understand and utilize baseball analytics. 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 13.

  • Eduardo Perez, Analyst, ESPN: Eduardo is an analyst for ESPN's “Baseball Tonight.” He was the Houston Astros' bench coach in 2013 after two seasons as the Miami Marlins' hitting coach. He has served as manager of the Colombian national team and as manager and general manager of the Puerto Rican national team. In 2008, he earned Manager of the Year honors in the Puerto Rican Winter League and in 2009 he led the Ponce Lions to the Caribbean Series. From 1993-2006, Eduardo played parts of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, primarily as a first baseman, for the Angels, Cardinals, Reds, Devil Rays, Indians and Mariners. He joined ESPN as an analyst for the 2006 postseason and worked full-time for the network for the next four seasons. 
  • Eric Wedge, Analyst, ESPN: Eric joined ESPN's “Baseball Tonight” as an analyst in 2014. He has managed 10 seasons in Major League Baseball, most recently with the Seattle Mariners from 2011-13. In 2007, he won the Manager of the Year award with the Cleveland Indians, leading the Tribe to a 96-66 record and first place in the American League Central Division. As a player, he helped lead Wichita State University to the 1989 College World Series championship and was a third-round draft pick with the Boston Red Sox that year. He played parts of four seasons in MLB with the Red Sox and Colorado Rockies.
  • Moderator: Buster Olney, Senior Writer, Buster is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, reporter for ESPN’s exclusive Sunday Night Baseball telecast and an analyst for Baseball Tonight. He joined ESPN in June 2003 to cover baseball for all ESPN entities, including ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS, and SportsCenter. He writes a daily column for and and also hosts a popular Baseball Tonight podcast. Buster began covering baseball in 1989 for the Nashville Banner and later for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Baltimore Sun and New York Times. He is also the author of The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness.

Baseball Operations Panel: This panel will focus on how baseball operations departments throughout Major League Baseball are using analytics. 8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 14.

  • T.J. Barra, Manager of Baseball Research and Development, New York Mets: T.J. was promoted to his current role with the Mets in December 2014. He has been with the Mets front office since 2007 and previously served as Manager of Baseball Analytics and Manager of Minor League Operations. From 2005 to 2007, he worked with the Washington Nationals, where he was the Coordinator of Scouting/Baseball Analysis. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University.
  • Sam Grossman, Director of Baseball Research and Analysis, Cincinnati Reds: Sam is entering his ninth season with the Reds front office. Since 2013, he has served as the Director of Baseball Research and Analysis, where he performs a variety of duties including statistical analysis, overseeing the compilation of advance scouting information, development of the Reds internal baseball operations systems, creating and maintaining the baseball operations budgets, and assisting with minor league  scouting. He has also been involved in the design and construction of the Reds player development complex in Arizona and the renovation of their Dominican academy. Before joining the Reds, he worked for the Milwaukee Brewers' Video Advance Scouting department and the Boston Red Sox's Florida Operations. A 2001 graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics, he spent several years as an actuarial analyst prior to working in baseball. 
  • Zack Rosenthal, Assistant General Manager/Baseball Operations, Colorado Rockies: Zack is entering his first season in his current role with the Rockies, where he assists the General Manager with contract issues, player transactions, payroll management, salary arbitration, statistical analysis, and rules administration. Zack joined the Rockies in 2006 and was named Director of Baseball Operations/Assistant General Counsel in 2011. He holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication from the University of California at Berkeley and his Master's degree and J.D. from Boston University.
  • Moderator: Jon “Boog” Sciambi, Announcer, ESPN: Jon 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, Sciambi 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.

Business of Baseball Panel: The Business of Baseball is becoming more dependent on analytics. Take an inside look into how team’s front offices are using analytics and data to progressively drive incremental revenue growth. 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 14.

  • Kenny Farrell, Vice President of Business Analytics, Arizona Diamondbacks: Kenny was named as the Diamondbacks' VP of Business Analytics in January 2015. He previously served as the team’s Senior Director of Business Strategy & Operations. He earned a Bachelor of Communication and Masters of Communication from Arizona State University.
  • Ryan Gustafson, Senior Director of Business Strategy and Innovation, San Diego Padres: Ryan oversees business analytics, strategic planning, financial projections, and special projects for the Padres. Previously, he worked at the MLB Commissioner’s Office in ticket analytics, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2012.
  • Moderator: Dan Migala, Founding Partner, Property Consulting Group: Dan is the founding partner of Property Consulting Group, a Chicago-based team marketing advisory firm and publisher of The Migala Report, a sports business monthly periodical. He has helped design some of baseball's most innovative revenue-generating concepts, including serving as a senior advisor to MiLB’s “Project Brand” intiative. He is a co-owner with Mike Veeck of the Class A Fort Myers Miracle and author of three sports marketing texts.

The Future of International Prospects: With the rise of new Cuban stars throughout baseball, and the popularity of the game in Asia, teams are more interested in international prospects than ever before. Our panelists will discuss how the game is scouted globally and how that will affect Major League Baseball. 4:45 p.m., Saturday, March 14.

  •  John Barr, Vice President/Assistant General Manager, Scouting and International Operations, San Francisco Giants: John has spent more than three decades as a baseball executive, including the last seven with the Giants, where he has overseen their amateur and international scouting operations since 2013. Under Barr's guidance, the Giants have drafted players such as 2010 Rookie of the Year and 2012 National League MVP Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt, who have helped the Giants win three of the last five World Series. Prior to joining the Giants, John spent 10 years (1998-2007) with the Los Angeles Dodgers as East Coast Supervisor. He has also worked in the front offices for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, and San Diego Padres. He was inducted into the Mid Atlantic Scouts Hall of Fame in November of 2008 and the Professional Scouting Hall of Fame during the summer of 2009.
  • Jim Callis, Senior Writer, Jim Callis is a senior writer for, a division of that specializes in prospects and the draft. Prior to joining in September 2013, he worked 23 years in two stints at Baseball America. He served as the magazine's managing editor from 1993-97 before moving to suburban Chicago with his family and spending three years as a senior editor at STATS, Inc. Upon returning to Baseball America in May 2000 as executive editor, his main focuses were evaluating prospects (including editing BA's annual Prospect Handbook) and covering the amateur draft (including broadcast work with ESPN and MLB Network.) He began covering baseball in 1987 while at the University of Georgia.
  • Jonathan Mayo, Senior Writer, Jonathan is a senior writer for He joined Major League Baseball’s official website in April 1999 and has covered every facet of the game. He’s been to three World Series and seven All-Star Games, as well as Opening Series in Japan and Puerto Rico. In his time with, he’s also covered the Caribbean World Series in Mazatlan, Mexico and the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. For several years, he hosted a variety of shows on MLB Radio,’s internet radio network, including "Around the Minors," a daily show devoted to baseball prospects. Mayo has also done extensive video work ranging from studio analysis and in-game color commentary to sideline reporting at various special events.
  • Jesse Sanchez, National Reporter, Jesse has worked in sports journalism since 1997 and has covered baseball as a beat writer and national reporter at since 2001. He's covered baseball in Latin America and the Caribbean, along with its players, prospects and issues for more than a decade.
  • Moderator: Rob Neyer, Senior Baseball Editor, Rob joined in 2014 as its Senior Baseball Editor after serving as National Baseball Editor at SB Nation for the past three years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years covering Major League Baseball as a columnist at Rob began his career as a research assistant for groundbreaking baseball author Bill James, and later worked for STATS, Inc. He has also written or co-written six baseball books, including The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (with Bill James), winner of the Sporting News/SABR Baseball Research Award.


For more information on the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference, visit

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