The annual conference hosted by the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics gives students the chance to network with MLB professionals, coaches and players.
Four Elon students traveled to Phoenix to compete in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference.
The annual competition is hosted for undergraduate and graduate student teams competing to solve a case similar to real-world decisions facing a baseball front office.
The Elon team, comprised of Connor Clark ’14, Drew Forte ’15, Danny Sandford ’15 and Jake Sotir ’14 were asked to determine the top three “pitching assets” in the game today- pitchers who will generate the greatest value to a team over the course of their contract.
John Burbridge, professor of operations and supply chain management, accompanied the group to the conference.
“The SABR analytics competition provides an excellent vehicle for the students to sharpen their analytical skills. While baseball is certainly a game, it is also a business requiring thorough analysis of the economic factors impacting that business,” Burbridge said.
Student teams were judged on their analysis of the case and a presentation made before a panel of judges made up of Major League Baseball professionals.
“I participated in the case competition because I love baseball and analyzing players and this competition gave us flexibility to express our views about the players and why we chose them as the most valuable,” said Forte, a finance and sport and event management double major.
One of the other members of the team, Sotir, a marketing major, spoke on a student panel during the conference.
“I had the unique experience of being one of four students at the conference selected to speak on a panel regarding the way the younger generation consumes the game of baseball in the digital age, and that was absolutely my favorite part of the entire weekend,” Sotir said.
The two winning teams in the undergraduate division were from Cornell University and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. A team from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business won the graduate and professional school division of the competition.
The case competition was led by SABR president, Vince Gennaro, a consultant to MLB teams. Gennaro is also the author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball and a regular contributor to MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential, the first show of its kind focused on baseball analytics.