2021 SABR Virtual Analytics Conference: Featured Speakers
The SABR Virtual Analytics Conference was held over four days in online sessions from March 11-14, 2021, as we brought together the top minds in the baseball analytics community to discuss, debate, and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.
Click here for Research Presentation abstracts and speaker bios.
Learn more about our featured speakers and panelists on this page.
Ehsan Bokhari is the Senior Director of Player Evaluation for the Houston Astros. He previously worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a Senior Analyst in Research and Development. He has received a Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology and a master’s degree in psychology and statistics from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and psychology from the University of Arizona.
Dr. John De Witt is a Senior Biomechanist with the Chicago Cubs and founder of Maximum Athletic Performance. He has also served as a performance consultant or coach for the NBA’s Houston Rockets, Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League, and the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team, along with the Olympic Development Program at the state and regional levels. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch, an M.S. with a specialization in Biomechanics from Arizona State University, and Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering from the University of Toledo.
Dr. Glenn Fleisig is the Research Director of the American Sports Medicine Institute and the Founding President of the American Baseball Biomechanics Society. He is also an advisor to Major League Baseball, Little League Baseball, and USA Baseball. He earned his engineering degrees from MIT, Washington University, and UAB. Ranked by Expertscape as the top expert in the world on baseball science and medicine, Dr. Fleisig has published 200 scientific articles, delivered 350 presentations throughout the world, and has been interviewed for thousands of stories by the media.
Graham Goldbeck is a Data Quality Analyst for Major League Baseball. Before joining MLB in 2018, he spent seven years managing data and analytics for Sportvision. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the University of California at San Diego.
Dr. Ben Hansen is a Senior Biomechanical Engineer with the Chicago White Sox, where he conducts biomechanics data collection and analysis, institutes workload management programs, and focuses on full-stack mobile and web software development. Previously, he spent eight years as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Motus Global, pioneering wearable technology for baseball pitchers alongside contracting biomechanics lab services to sports teams. He has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he also played baseball. During his Ph.D. studies at Marquette University (Biomechanics & Bioelectronics), he was a motion capture technician for the Milwaukee Brewers and a summer research intern at the American Sports Medicine Institute.
Dr. Paul Hawkins, OBE, is the founder of Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd., which first partnered with Major League Baseball in 2014 to launch the video replay system and whose optical tracking sensors were installed in MLB stadiums in 2020 as part of the Statcast system. Hawk-Eye systems are also used around the world in tennis, soccer, cricket, and dozens of other sports in 65 countries. Hawkins earned a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from Durham University and later worked for Roke Manor Research, where the idea of Hawk-Eye was initially pitched and developed. In 2014, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to Sport and Technology.
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.”
Dr. Mike McNally has been a Biomechanist with the Tampa Bay Rays since 2018. Prior to joining the Rays, he worked as a research assistant with sports medicine, physical therapy, and health and rehabilitation at Ohio State University, aiding in research into orthopedic and neurological injury, and human performance. He received his B.S. in Exercise Science and Sport Management from Mayville State University (ND), M.S. in Exercise Science with a Biomechanics concentration from East Carolina University, and Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from Ohio State University.
Lonnie Murray is the first and currently only Black female player agent certified by the MLB Players Association, and one of very few women on that side of the negotiating table. Boasting a roster of over 30 amateur and professional players, Murray has 16 years of experience advising and representing players at all levels of the game. As the President and CEO of Sports Management Partners, Lonnie has made her mark as a highly regarded baseball agent in both the U.S. and international markets.
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.
Maggie O’Hara is a Senior Analyst in Baseball Operations for the Detroit Tigers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a statistics minor from the University of Chicago, where she was a four-year starter and a two-year captain on the softball team.
Eduardo Perez is a baseball analyst for ESPN. He has coached in the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins organizations, and served as manager of the Colombian national team and as manager and general manager of the Puerto Rican national team. 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. He is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez.
Burton Rocks is a New York Times best-selling author, social media entrepreneur, and sports attorney. He has co-authored eight books, including Me And My Dad: A Baseball Memoir, and co-founded the social media platform Chatwithastar. He is the founder and owner of C.L. Rocks Corporation, a sports agency based on his own trademarked Quantified Intangible Sheet analytic model, which he used in negotiating Paul DeJong’s then-record-setting contract extension in 2018. In 2019, Topps issued an official baseball card for Rocks.
Josh Ruffin is an Advanced Scouting Analyst for the Minnesota Twins, where he creates predictive models and reports to help gameday preparation. He previously worked at Halfaker and Associates, where he was a Data Scientist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistical Science from Duke University.
Jay Sartori is Senior Director of Baseball Analytics & Operations with the Detroit Tigers. Before joining the Tigers in 2016, he worked at Apple, managing the sports and entertainment categories of its App Store. He previously served as an assistant general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2010-13 and as the director of baseball operations for the Washington Nationals.
Sid Sethupathi is a Software Engineer at Major League Baseball. He previously worked at Comprehend Systems, where he developed backend services and high chart visualization to analyze data. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Illinois.
Marc Squire is a Senior Product Manager at Major League Baseball, where he manages products from the development to product launch. As a freelance photographer, his images have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, ESPN.com, and in ESPN The Magazine. He graduated from Syracuse University, where he holds a bachelor’s degree in information management and technology and a minor in global enterprise technologies.
For more information on the 2021 SABR Virtual Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics/2021.