SABR Analytics Conference speakers

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SABR Analytics Conference
March 13-15, 2020
Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
Phoenix, Arizona

 

Here is a list of speakers, panelists and moderators for the ninth annual SABR Analytics Conference on March 13-15, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. 

All baseball fans are welcome to watch our free YouTube livestream during the conference, so we hope you tune in!

 

Brian Kenny
Host
MLB Network
 
Rob Neyer
Author and host
SABRcast podcast

 
Jonny Gomes
Arizona Diamondbacks
Coach
 
T.J. Barra
Sr. Data Quality Analyst
Major League Baseball
 
Jay Jaffe
Senior Writer
FanGraphs
 
Joan Ryan
Author of
Intangibles
 
Bobby Evans
Former GM of
San Francisco Giants
 
Rob Arthur
Writer
Baseball Prospectus
 
Greg Cain
VP, Baseball Data
Major League Baseball

 
Meredith Wills
Sports Data Scientist
SMT

 
Mike Ferrin
Broadcaster
Arizona Diamondbacks
 
Rickie Weeks Jr.
Former MLB
infielder
 


Click here to learn more about the research presentations at the 2020 SABR Analytics Conference.

Here is more information about our featured sessions:

The State of Analytics: Brian Kenny
1:05-1:20 p.m., Friday, March 13

  • Brian Kenny is a host at MLB Network, where he appears across the network's studio programming, including “MLB Now” and “MLB Tonight.” He is also the author of Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution. 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.”

MLB Statcast Update
3:30-4:10 p.m., Friday, March 13

  • Jason Bernard is a Baseball Research Analyst at Major League Baseball, where he has worked since 2015. He is also an adjunct professor at the NYU-Tisch Institute for Global Sport. He earned a bachelor's degree in sports management from St. John's University and a master's degree in sports business from New York University.
  • Greg Cain is Vice President of Baseball Data for Major League Baseball. Since joining MLB in 2011, he has been instrumental in the development of the Statcast system, leading to its league-wide launch in 2015. He holds a degree in Management Information Systems and Services from the University of Oklahoma.
  • Clay Nunnally is a Baseball Scientist at Major League Baseball. Between 2008 and 2018, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at Applied Physical Electronics. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Abilene Christian University, a master's degree in engineering physics from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri.
  • Daren Willman is the Director of Baseball Research and Development for Major League Baseball, where he spearheads socially fan driven content featuring Statcast in his work. 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.

Intangibles: How do Teams Evaluate, Value, and Encourage Team Chemistry?
4:35-5:35 p.m., Friday, March 13

  • Jonny Gomes is a coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization following a 13-year major-league playing career spent with the Tampa Bay Rays and six other teams. He made his MLB debut in 2003 and finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2005. He was a key contributor to the Boston Red Sox's 2013 World Series championship team, appearing in 15 games that postseason and hitting a go-ahead, three-run home run in Game 4 of the fall classic. He helped the Cincinnati Reds win the NL Central division in 2010, appeared in the postseason twice with the Oakland A's in 2012 and 2014, and received a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals in 2015.
  • Joan Ryan is an award-winning journalist and author of five sports books, including the upcoming Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry and Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters, a groundbreaking exposé that was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 100 sports books of all time. She spent more than 25 years with the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner and was one of the first female sports columnists in the country, covering every major sporting event from the World Series and Super Bowl to the Olympics and championship fights.
  • Rickie Weeks Jr. spent 14 seasons as a second baseman in the major leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers and three other teams from 2003 to 2017. He made the National League All-Star team in 2011 and hit two home runs for the Brewers in the NLCS against the Cardinals. He was drafted No. 2 overall by the Brewers in 2003 from Southern University, where he was the Golden Spikes Award winner and the Baseball America Player of the Year as a junior, and a two-time NCAA batting champion. He and his brother Jemile, who played six seasons in MLB, now run the Weeks Brothers Foundation to provide a platform for underserved youth through sports and education. 
  • Moderator: Brian Kenny

The Changing Baseball: What We Know, What We Think We Know, and What It Means
8:30-9:30 a.m., Saturday, March 14

  • Rob Arthur is a freelance writer and data scientist whose articles have appeared at Baseball Prospectus, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, VICE News, and many other outlets. He is also a consultant for major-league teams. From 2015 to 2018, he was a staff writer at FiveThirtyEight, covering baseball and criminal justice. His research on changes in the seams of MLB's baseballs helped explain the home run surge in recent seasons. He received his Ph.D. in evolutionary genetics from the University of Chicago.
  • Jay Jaffe is a Senior Writer at FanGraphs and the author of The Cooperstown Casebook: Who's in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques. His work has also appeared at Sports Illustrated, Baseball Prospectus, and many other outlets. He is the founder of the Futility Infielder website, one of the oldest baseball blogs; a recurring guest on MLB Network; and a member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
  • Dr. Meredith Wills is a Sports Data Scientist for SportsMEDIA Technology (SMT) and a contributing writer for The Athletic, whose independent research on the composition of the baseballs helped shed new light on the home run surge in recent seasons. In her spare time, she is also a knitting designer, working in partnership with both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to create reproductions of vintage baseball sweaters. She received her B.A. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Harvard University, and her M.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Physics from Montana State University-Bozeman.
  • Moderator: Mike Ferrin is entering his fifth season on the Arizona 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.

Technology Panel
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Saturday, March 14

  • T.J. Barra is a Senior Baseball Data Quality Analyst at Major League Baseball. He spent 12 seasons in the New York Mets front office, most recently as Director of Baseball Research and Development and as Manager of Minor League Operations for seven years. 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.
  • Scott Coleman is a Biomechanist at KinaTrax, and he has been working with motion capture technology for more than 20 years on the clinical and research side. He has also worked with the Department of Orthopedics at A.I.duPont Hospital for Children and Baylor University Medical Center, as well as Motion Analysis Corporation and Qualisys. He has a master’s degree in Biomechanics and an MBA from the University of Delaware.  
  • Seth Daniels is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Rapsodo, where he focuses on building data-driven technologies to provide players and coaches with real-time tracking solutions and helps develop market strategies for the North American market. He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing communications and an MBA from Anderson University. 
  • Moderator: Rob Neyer is the host of the weekly podcast, SABRcast with Rob Neyer. He has written or co-written seven baseball books, including most recently Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, which won the 2019 CASEY Award. He was also the recipient of SABR's Henry Chadwick Award, honoring baseball's top researchers and analysts, in 2019. He has worked as a writer and editor for ESPN.com, SB Nation, and FoxSports.com, and he began his career as a research assistant for groundbreaking baseball author Bill James.

Automated Strike Zone: Perspectives on the Technology and How it May Affect the Game
10:05-11:05 a.m., Sunday, March 15

  • Bobby Evans spent 25 seasons in the San Francisco Giants front office and served as the team's Senior Vice President and General Manager from 2015 to 2018. During his tenure in baseball operations, he helped lead the organization to three World Series titles and qualify for eight postseason berths. The Giants were named Baseball America's Organization of the Year in 2010, when they won their first championship since moving to San Francisco.
  • Ben Jedlovec is Director of Engineering, Data Quality, for Major League Baseball. Previously, he served as President of Baseball Info Solutions, managing the company's day-to-day operations and data collection efforts. After his graduation from Rice University with degrees in kinesiology and statistics, he was hired as the first employee in the BIS Research and Development department. He is the co-author (with John Dewan) of Volumes III and IV of The Fielding Bible.
  • Wayne Greiner is president of Greiner Agencies Inc. His company has represented numerous sporting goods manufacturers distributing their baseball, hockey and golf products in Canada for the past 32 years.
  • Moderator: Rob Neyer is the host of the weekly podcast, SABRcast with Rob Neyer. He has written or co-written seven baseball books, including most recently Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, which won the 2019 CASEY Award. He was also the recipient of SABR's Henry Chadwick Award, honoring baseball's top researchers and analysts, in 2019. He has worked as a writer and editor for ESPN.com, SB Nation, and FoxSports.com, and he began his career as a research assistant for groundbreaking baseball author Bill James.

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