2021 SABR Virtual Analytics Conference highlights
The SABR Virtual Analytics Conference, presented by Major League Baseball, Rawlings, and Sports Info Solutions, was held over four days in online sessions from March 11-14, 2021, bringing 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 on a link below to watch a video replay of each session.
Brian Kenny: The Year in Analytics
Introduction by SABR CEO Scott Bush. Presentation by MLB Network host Brian Kenny.
The Use of Analytics in Contract Negotiations
Panelists: Lonnie Murray, Sports Management Partners; Burton Rocks, C.L. Rocks Corporation; Jay Sartori, Detroit Tigers. Moderator: Brian Kenny, MLB Network.
Biomechanics in MLB: The Next Competitive Edge in Analytics
Panelists: Dr. John De Witt, Chicago Cubs; Dr. Ben Hansen, Chicago White Sox; Dr. Mike McNally, Tampa Bay Rays. Moderator: Dr. Glenn Fleisig, American Sports Medicine Institute.
Analyze This: The Varying Roles and Skillsets of Baseball Analysts
Panelists: Ehsan Bokhari, Houston Astros; Maggie O’Hara, Detroit Tigers; Josh Ruffin, Minnesota Twins. Moderator: Eduardo Perez, ESPN.
MLB Statcast Pitch Tracking Methods
MLB Baseball Scientist Clay Nunnally and Dr. Paul Hawkins of Hawk-Eye Innovations gave a talk on pitch tracking methods in the Statcast system.
MLB Statcast Player Pose Tracking and Visualization
Panelists: Graham Goldbeck, Marc Squire, Sid Sethupathi, Major League Baseball.
Diamond Dollars Case Competition
Encore presentation by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business: Jacob Fain, Cam Harrigan, Trevor Million, and Omar Taveras. Learn more at sabr.org/analytics/case.
SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards presentation
Tony Adams, Bradford William Davis, and Shakeia Taylor were honored as winners of the 2021 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards. Click here to learn more and to read their award-winning articles.
RP1—Rob Mains, “Lessons Learned from the National League’s DH Experiment”
RP2—Matt Manocherian and John Shirley, “Modeling Injury Risk Using In-Depth Injury Data“
RP3—David Gerth, “Using Kelly Criterion to Build MLB Draft Rankings”
RP4—Nate Rowan, “The Whiff Effect: Are Pitchers More Likely to Repeat the Previous Pitch After A Swing-And-Miss?”
RP5—Ben Howell, “Modeling Plate Discipline from the KBO to MLB”
RP6—Meredith Wills, “The 2020 Major League Baseball: And Now, For Something Completely Different”
RP7—Connor Turner, “The Pinch-Hitter Problem: Using Markov Chains to Analyze Outcomes in Pitcher-Batter Matchups”
RP8—Jason Themanson, “Contextual Influences On Neural Activity to Pitches and Feedback: Psychology and Performance at the Plate”
RP9—Barton Smith, “Seam Shifted Wake in MLB Pitches”
RP10—Glenn Healey and Lequan Wang, “Analyzing the Elements of Pitch Movement Using Hawk-Eye Data”
RP11—Alan Nathan, “What Is Hawk-Eye Teaching Us About Baseball Pitches?”
RP12—Hillary Plummer, “Association Between Hip Rotational Range of Motion and Pitching Mechanics in High School Baseball Pitchers”
RP13—Jeremy Losak, “MLB Home Field Advantage Without Fans”
RP14—Rylan Edwards and Joe Rosales, “What’s He Throw? Identifying and Analyzing Pitch Sub-Types”
RP15—Glenn Fleisig, Alek Diffendaffer, Jonathan Slowik, “Key Factors in Pitching Biomechanics for Fastball Consistency”
RP16—Joshua Silver and Tate Huffman, “Explainable AI for Baseball Predictions and Strategies”
RP17—Adi Wyner, “Is the 3rd Time Through the Order Effect Real? Correcting for Lineup Order and Pitcher Quality Selection Bias”
RP18—Kristen Faith Nicholson, “Predicting Pitching Arm Stress With Machine Learning Models”
Thursday, March 11
Visit YouTube.com for timestamps to move ahead to each presentation in this video:
- (0:00) Introduction to Baseball Databases
Sean Lahman, SABR
- (1:11:56) Working with Baseball-Reference Data
Jonah Gardner and Katie Sharp, Sports Reference
- (2:26:53) Working with Baseball Savant and R
Josh Keen, Baseball Operations Analyst, Major League Baseball
Saturday, March 13
Job Networking Session
Hosted by SABR’s Chanel Zapata, students heard job and career advice from John Edman, Minnesota Twins; Paul Bien, San Francisco Giants; Rob Neyer, West Coast League; Rob Dougherty and Matt Manocherian, Sports Info Solutions; and George Baines and Dan Cash, Hawk-Eye Innovations.