SABR President Vince Gennaro has won the 2013 Doug Pappas Award for the best oral research presentation and Brendan Bingham, a medical research scientist, has won the USA Today Sports Weekly Award for the best poster presentation at SABR 43 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Gennaro, the author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball and a consultant to major league teams, won the Pappas Award for his presentation, “Analyzing Batter Performance Against Pitcher Clusters,” which he delivered Saturday during SABR 43 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
- Video: Watch Vince Gennaro’s award-winning presentation from SABR 43 (YouTube)
His abstract is posted below:
Baseball data continues to grow exponentially. Over the last ten years, we have generated 95% of the game-level and pitch-level data that exists today. In other words, when the book Moneyball was written, we had less than 5% of today’s baseball data. Gennaro leverages this data using community detection algorithms to create clusters of pitchers based on similarities multiple attributes, such as frequency of pitch types, velocity, release points, horizontal break, vertical break, pitch variety, pitch location, and handedness. This research could have implications for optimizing batter-pitcher relationships and matchups by identifying how hitter performance varies across these pitcher clusters.
Gennaro also won the Pappas Award in 2008 at SABR 38 in Cleveland for “What Factors Influence Free Agent Salaries?”
The Doug Pappas Award — originally established as the USA Today Sports Weekly Award in 1992 and renamed in 2004 to honor the late baseball researcher — includes a $250 cash prize with a matching amount donated to SABR.
Bingham, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, won the USA Today Sports Weekly Award for his poster, “The Uncertain Relationship Between Stolen Bases And Runs Scored.” His abstract is posted below:
An appreciation of the complex relationship between stolen bases and runs scored, and how this relationship has evolved over the history of major league baseball, is integral to understanding base stealing as a strategy. Using correlation analysis and tapping into data assembled in the ML Team Totals pages of www.retrosheet.org, Bingham examines league-level and team-level relationships between stolen bases and runs scored for the seasons 1901 through 2012.
The USA Today Sports Weekly Award — first presented in 1990 as the John W. Cox Award — includes a $125 cash prize with a matching donation to SABR.
Honorable mentions for the oral presentation were:
- Geri Strecker, “Blurring Color Lines: The “Integrated” Interstate League of 1926”
- Amy Tetlow Smith and David W. Smith, “Scorecard Advertisements as Social History”
Honorable mentions for the poster presentation were:
- Heather O’Neill, “Do MLB Hitters Boost Performance in Their Contract Year?”
- Dobb Mayo and John Weitzel, “The Outfield Sign: Past, Present, Future”
For more coverage of SABR 43, visit SABR.org/convention.
Originally published: August 3, 2013. Last Updated: July 27, 2020.