I was in attendance at the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference. The three day conference featured a series of guest speakers that included Tom Ricketts (Chairman, Chicago Cubs), Derrick Hall (President/CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks), Mark Shapiro (President, Cleveland Indians).
A number of industry experts were in attendance that represented such organizations as FanGraphs, Baseball Info Solutions, Baseball-Reference.com, MLB.com, Bloomberg Sports, Baseball Nation, SABR, Baseball Prospectus, Fox Sports, and ESPN, among others.
Almost every MLB team was represented throughout the conference with as many as 20 of the 30 begin in the room at the same time. A General Managers Panel saw Chris Antonetti (Cleveland Indians), Jerry Dipoto (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and Doug Melvin (Milwaukee Brewers) discuss how teams are using analytics to find the competitive edge.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy talked how embracing analytics helped him perform better on the field.
The conference also featured a “Case Competition” that featured 14 universities from across North America.
Personally, I enjoyed being surrounded by some extremely interesting people who have combined their passion for analytics and baseball. I learned a number of things and had a great time. I would strongly recommend for those who share a similar passion to attend in the future. If there is one thing I came away with is the fact that great minds figured out how to put a man on the moon in the 1969, but they are still trying to determine better defensive fielding metrics for MLB players. The good news some of the smartest people around are currently working on it. That is the great thing about the game of baseball that it combines the power of analytics with a children’s game that is played by grown men.
For those of you who are interested in the analytical side of baseball or want to learn more be sure to head over to the official conference website which can be found here.
Also, David Fung over at Beyond the Box Score provides his take on the festivities and provides some links to the panels, which is defiantly worth checking out here.