Healey: Digging for diamonds with the Case Competition

From Tim Healey at The Hardball Times on January 7, 2015, with mention of SABR members Vince Gennaro, Hunter Gilbertson, Cameron Toh, TJ Barra, and Sarah Gelles:

What Hunter Gilbertson wants—and what his New York University analytics teammates want and what most of their several dozen well-dressed peers want—is to work in baseball. What they know is how wildly difficult that is to achieve. What they’re doing about it on this day, a mild-fall morning in Manhattan, is an attempt to get just a little bit closer to that goal.

“That’s the hope,” Gilbertson said. “That’s the whole point, pretty much.”

It’s the Diamond Dollars Baseball Analytics Case Competition, a biannual convergence of some of the top college-aged baseball minds and the brainchild of Vince Gennaro, president of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball.

The format is simple: Gennaro sends each of the 11 northeast college-based teams a prompt mirroring as closely as possible a real-life baseball-ops situation — this time, assessing the free-agent market and determining the contract value for Pablo Sandoval, ultimately choosing which two teams would be the best fit and deciding what contract each should offer.

The four- to five-person groups have about five days to analyze the case from every angle they can think of. That includes  what Sandoval has done in the past, various projections of what he might do in the future, why Stadium X might fit him well, what extra value he might provide Team Y, what a lost draft pick is worth, and even how his modern defensive metrics correlated with his listed weight season-to-season.

Each team presents its case in front of a pair of judges, including at least one from a major league front office.


Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/digging-for-diamonds/

Related links:

Originally published: January 8, 2015. Last Updated: January 8, 2015.