Kahrl: SABR Analytics Conference explores new frontiers

From SABR member Christina Kahrl at ESPN.com on March 14, 2014:

Spring training is already just about any fans’ definition of heaven: A break from winter, a gear-up for the season ahead, a chance to crease your bean thinking about the better things to come. But if you’re a stathead, what could possibly make it better? The annual SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, of course. Three days of panels featuring analysts and ballplayers, front office personnel and SABR members alike, all talking about their work, and all of it baseball-flavored? Well, yes, some definitions of heaven did just get better, so what better way to spend three days in Arizona?

Day One started with the evaluation of the different graduate and undergraduate teams of students presenting their evaluations answering a sabermetric problem posed to them. This year’s challenge involved identifying the best three pitchers for value over the next five years. Needless to say, a lot of substantive evaluations of Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner and Yu Darvish came up, with the Marlins’ young ace coming out on top time and again as a function of his being under team control into his arbitration years during the period under evaluation. Different teams studied different injury risks, but nevertheless accepted the virtues of Sale’s new deal with the White Sox. In the end, Duke’s graduate team barely bested University of Chicago-Booth in the graduate division, while Cornell and Loras won the undergraduate divisions.

From there, the schedule moved quickly into a quick, busy slate of panels evaluating different aspects of the game. Leading off was “Medical Analysis and Injury Prevention,” featuring Dr. Stan Conte of the Dodgers, Dr. Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute and Chris Marinak of MLB, was moderated by Buster Olney.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/44999/sabr-conference-explores-new-frontiers

Originally published: March 14, 2014. Last Updated: March 14, 2014.