2024 SABR Analytics: Watch highlights from Rule Changes: Hitting and Defense Panel

2024 SABR Analytics: Hitting and Defense Rule Changes Panel (L-R): Meg Rowley, Mark Simon, Bobby Scales

At the SABR Analytics Conference on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Phoenix, Arizona, a panel discussion was held on baseball’s rule changes focusing on hitting and defense.

Panelists included Meg Rowley of FanGraphs; Bobby Scales and Mark Simon of Sports Info Solutions; and moderator Brian Kenny of MLB Network.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

On experimenting with more rules changes

  • Rowley: “Having room in the game for a variety of offensive skill sets makes for a more interesting game. … We want to be able to give these guys the opportunity to showcase how incredible they are at this sport.”
  • Scales: “I think we want more action. … I think we can diversify the skill set if the front office prioritizes it greater.”

2024 SABR Analytics: Hitting and Defense Rule Changes Panel (L-R): Bobby Scales and Brian Kenny

On how rule changes can help hitters

  • Scales: “There is a big swath of players that I think are going underdeveloped and overlooked because they don’t fit this profile of (home runs). … How many guys who could be impactful big leaguers don’t end up developing what they could be as a major-leaguer because we are prioritizing that?”

On how recent changes have affected pace of play

  • Kenny: “I’d learned to watch (games while) distracted and suddenly I had to relearn that I need to watch the game and actually be focused.”
  • Simon: “I liked it overall. There were times where I did miss the old way a little bit particularly when I went to the ballpark.”

Transcription assistance from Jared Kahn.

For more coverage of the 2024 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics.



Originally published: May 1, 2024. Last Updated: March 18, 2024.