Sport Management Students Present at Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference
On March 13, five students from the St. John Fisher College Sport Studies Department participated in the 2014 Diamond Dollars Case Competition, a statistics-based contest which takes place at the annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Analytics Conference.
The conference took place in Phoenix, Arizona, and due to Winter Storm Vulcan, the Fisher team’s presentation had to be done via Skype.
In the competition, teams consisting of four to five students are asked to evaluate a baseball operations case problem. Each team presents their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges which includes Major League Baseball (MLB) front office executives. Students are given the case study problem approximately five days prior to their designated presentation time and are asked to develop their recommendation within the given timeframe.
This year’s case study asked teams to analyze and discern the top three pitching assets in MLB today — the pitchers who will generate the greatest value to a team over the balance of their years under contract or team control.
Sport Management majors Kate Disbrow, Val Hanson, Kris Jones, Joey McAvoy, and Kyle Stich have spent most of the semester researching and preparing for the competition by reading various literature pertaining to advanced sabermetric baseball statistics and applying their findings to past case studies presented at previous conferences.
A record 19 colleges and universities participated in the competition, where each was placed in one of three divisions — one consisting of graduate and professional school participants and two consisting of representatives from undergraduate study.
Ultimately, through extensive research and preparation, the team found Matt Harvey of the New York Mets, Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox to be the top pitching assets in baseball today. Although the judges felt Fisher put together a solid presentation that demonstrated a good understanding of the material, the winner of the team’s bracket was the team from Cornell University. The winner of the second undergraduate bracket was Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, while the team from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business won the graduate and professional school bracket.