Brian Bannister spent five seasons pitching in the major leagues, most notably with the Kansas City Royals, where he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2007. He was a right-hander with an underwhelming fastball in a sport that lusts for hard-throwers and lefties, and his ability to succeed was attributed as much to his brain (and stubborn perseverance) as to his arm. “He tinkers and analyzes and studies and plots and creates and destroys and invents and experiments,” the writer Joe Posnanski once said of him. By a certain type of baseball fan, Bannister will be remembered as the first ballplaying sabermetrician, a student of advanced statistics who saw information as valuable, not threatening. His public embrace of the brainy side of sports helped bridge the divide between baseball’s jocks and nerds.
Dr. Glenn Fleisig was introduced to the field of sports biomechanics while attending MIT. After graduating, Fleisig volunteered as a research intern at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where he met up-and-coming sports medicine doctor Jim Andrews. The two men shared a passion to understand and prevent injuries in baseball and other sports. Fleisig earned graduate degrees from Washington University and UAB. In 1987, Dr. Andrews opened the American Sports Medicine Institute and hired Dr. Fleisig to head up the research. During the past 25 years, Dr. Fleisig has published over 100 scientific articles, worked with thousands of athletes including from 20 Major League Baseball teams, appeared in countless television, print, and online stories, and presented his work all over the world. Dr. Fleisig is also the pitching safety consultant for Little League Baseball and a member of USA Baseball’s Safety Committee.
Vince Gennaro is the author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball, the President of SABR, and a consultant to MLB teams. He appears regularly on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential, and is a frequent guest commentator on sports business in the media. This follows a 25-year business career, where he served as President of billion dollar division of PepsiCo. His innovative work in baseball analytics has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, and the New York Times. He teaches in the Graduate Sports Management program at Columbia University and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Marv White joined ESPN’s Emerging Technology group in 2010. Mr. White has the delightful responsibility of finding new technologies that are important for ESPN and to help make those technologies useful to ESPN. He collaborates with university research groups, including Disney Research in Zurich and Pittsburgh, on topics relating to video and broadcast including light fields, Free Viewpoint Video, and Augmented Reality. Prior to ESPN, Mr. White was CTO of Sportvision, which won several Emmys by introducing 1st & Ten (the virtual 1st down line in American football) and PITCHf/x (tracking every pitch in Major League Baseball), as well as NASCAR Raceview, Draft Track, and several other virtual effects in sports broadcast.
Keith Woolner enters his seventh season leading the Baseball Analytics group for the Cleveland Indians. He is responsible for developing innovative ways to organize, analyze and present information to support baseball decision-making. He leads a team of analysts who study statistical data, scouting reports, medical histories and contract information to assist with in-game strategy, player acquisition and forecasting future performance. Prior to joining the Indians, Keith was Director of Research & Development at Baseball Prospectus. Keith is the inventor of VORP (Value Over Replacement Player), a well-known sabermetric statistic. He worked in the software industry for 17 years before joining the Indians, including stints at Oracle and SAS Institute.
Tom Tippett, as Director, Baseball Information Services for the Boston Red Sox, oversees the development of the team’s baseball information system and provides analytical support for player evaluation and other baseball decisions. Prior to joining the Red Sox in 2008, Tom was the founder of Diamond Mind, Inc., serving as president and chief architect of that company’s baseball simulation products until he sold the company in 2006. From 2003 to 2008, he consulted with the Red Sox Baseball Operations department of the Red Sox on technology and baseball research projects. A Toronto native, Tom graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.Math degree and earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Daniel L.C. Mack is an analyst for the Kansas City Royals. His earned his degree in Computer Science at Vanderbilt University while working at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems. Daniel’s research focused on anomaly detection methodologies for modeling early failure detection, specifically in large multi-dimensional sequence data. His dissertation focused on isolating and describing unknown failures in complex systems such as aircraft and in sports like baseball.
Jared Porter serves as the Red Sox Director of Professional Scouting, and has worked for the Red Sox in Baseball Operations since 2004 when he was a Player Development Intern in Ft. Myers, FL. Jared graduated from Thayer Academy (Braintree, MA) in 1999 and Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME) in 2003 where he was the Captain of the Baseball and Hockey teams his senior year.
Jason Lefkowitz is currently an associate scout for the New York Yankees covering the amateur level in the New England area. Prior to scouting, he spent 5 years as a hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at the collegiate level. In his 5 years of coaching at UC Santa Barbara (10’-11’) and Brown University (07’-09’) he saw a total of 21 of his players sign professional contracts with an MLB team. He has done extensive analysis of college baseball statistics looking at player performance aging curves from freshman to senior year. Jason is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with degree in Psychology and also holds and Master’s degree in Sports Coaching and Sports Management.
Dr. Alan Nathan is a physics professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After a long career studying the high-speed collisions of subatomic particles, he now studies much lower speed collisions between baseballs and bats. He runs the very popular site The Physics of Baseball, and has served on various panels advising organizations such as the NCAA on issues related to bat performance.
Harry Pavlidis is the Director of Data Analysis for Baseball Prospectus. He also provides a regular column featuring PITCHf/x based scouting and analysis. As the founder of Pitch Info and previously a founding partner of Complete Game Consulting, Harry has been providing professional services related to the handling and analysis of baseball tracking data since 2009. Harry is a graduate of Syracuse University with more than fifteen years experience in developing online and mobile applications–for things not even related to baseball, too.
Bill Petti serves as a staff writer at FanGraphs with a focus on research and analytics. He previously wrote for Beyond the Box Score and Amazin’ Avenue. His work has been featured in and cited by leading outlets, such as ESPN, MLB Network, The New York Times, CBSSports.com, Grantland.com, and Baseball Nation. Bill is also a featured guest on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential and has served as an advisor to the show.
Dr. David Somers employs functional MRI, psychophysics, and computational modeling to investigate the mechanisms underlying visual perception and cognition. His laboratory performs experiments to identify the human brain circuitry which support different visual tasks, and to study how different cognitive factors such as attention modulate these circuits. Modeling work investigates the computational mechanisms at work in these circuits.
Dr. Chris Geary is Chief of Sports Medicine at Tufts Medical Center, and is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Tufts Medical Center. Following his residency, he completed the San Diego Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Fellowship. He also served as Assistant Team Physician for the San Diego Padres, San Diego State and UCSD. He is currently the team physician for Tufts University.
Dr. Sol Gittleman is the Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor at Tufts University — one of three current “university professors” at the school. He has been a celebrated lecturer on the Tufts campus since he started teaching there in 1966. From 1981 until 2002 he was the school’s provost, and today he continues to teach on German Civilization and the rise of Nazism, immigration, and American baseball history.
Dr. Larry Hogan has taught, researched, written about, published, and presented programs in the field of African American history. Dr. Hogan is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Negro League baseball. Dr. Hogan has a B.A. from Fairfield University, an M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
Dave Cameron is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs, where he and his band of merry men (and one woman) analyze, discuss, and fawn over the sport of baseball. He’s been writing for FanGraphs since 2008, and was promoted to Managing Editor in 2010. In addition to FanGraphs, he can be found writing weekly for ESPN Insider and he regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal’s sports page as well. He also is a proud cancer survivor, as his leukemia has been in remission since August of 2011, and he encourages you to give every dime you have to cancer research, as he is quite happy to be alive today.
Ben Lindbergh is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus. He also contributes to Grantland and ESPN Insider and is a recurring guest on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential, as well as a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Patrick Drane has served as the Assistant Director of the Baseball Research Center at UMASS Lowell since 2003 and has helped lead the center to become an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of baseball and baseball bat research and a leader among facilities focusing on sports engineering research in the United States. His organization of the 9th conference of the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA) brought the sports engineering researchers from around the world to Lowell in 2012.
Alex Speier is a columnist and reporter for WEEI.com. Previously, Alex covered the Red Sox for several New England and national publications, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, Boston Metro, Boston Herald and Baseball America. Alex graduated from Harvard, where he served as the captain of the debate team, an experience that has been of surprisingly little use in press boxes across the country.
Brian MacPherson has covered the Red Sox for the Providence Journal since 2010. He worked for the New Hampshire Union Leader, ESPNBoston.com and the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times before that. An Exeter, N.H., native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael Silverman has been covering the Red Sox and Major League Baseball for the Boston Herald since the middle of the 1995 season. A native of Kansas City, Michael is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Michael is the Vice Chair of the Boston chapter of the Boston Baseball Writers Association of America and has had a vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame since 2007.
Dr. Dan Brooks is a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at Brown University, where he studies the neural circuitry of visual attention. He is also an author of Baseball Prospectus and maintains the popular PITCHf/x analysis website BrooksBaseball.net.
Chuck Korb is the founder of the Sabermetrics, Scouting, and the Science of Baseball conference, now in its third year. He put together an eight week seminar of the same name at MIT for their HSSP program in 2008, and adapted that series of classes to this weekend long charitable event. Chuck’s background is in the investment industry where he enjoyed modest success before moving to his true love, teaching. Chuck currently teaches at risk middle school students in his home town, and consults with a professional hockey team. He has also taught numerous classes and seminars on sabermetrics, and written multiple articles for Lindy’s, Maple Street Press, and various on-line sites.
Dr. Dave Allen is a visiting professor at Middlebury College. His “real job” is to teach biology and research forest ecology. But when he has the chance he likes to study baseball using pitch-tracking data. His work has appeared at fangraphs.com and baseballanalysts.com. He has also contributed to the Hardball Times Baseball Annual.
Scott Spratt is a research associate for Baseball Info Solutions. He studied business and computer science at the University of North Carolina. In his spare time, he also writes for The Hardball Times.
Doug Thorburn is an author at Baseball Prospectus. His “Raising Aces” column tackles the world of pitching with an emphasis on mechanical evaluation, and Thorburn also co-hosts a pitching podcast on BP. He spent five years with the National Pitching Association, working under coach Tom House, where Thorburn was the director of the motion analysis program in addition to serving as an instructor. In 2009, Thorburn and House co-authored a book titled, “Arm Action, Arm Path, and the Perfect Pitch,” which used hi-speed motion capture to challenge popular theories of pitching mechanics. Thorburn has previously worked with the Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League, and he earned his M.B.A. as a member of the inaugural cohort of San Diego State University’s sports business program, which was sponsored by the San Diego Padres.
Dr. Robert Cvornyek is a Professor and chair of the History Department at Rhode Island College where he specializes in Sport History. He recently edited Effa Manley’s Negro Baseball…Before Integration (St. Johann Press, 2006) and published “Redefining the Narrative: Effa Manley, Jackie Robinson, and the Integration of Baseball” in Baseball in the Classroom (McFarland, 2006). His research interests include sports in Newark, New Jersey and he has authored Baseball in Newark (Arcadia 2003) and several articles on the Newark Eagles. He is currently writing a book on black baseball in New England and curating an exhibit on race and baseball for the African American Museum in Boston. He serves as co-director of the program “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got that Swing: Black Baseball and Jazz.”
Plus… Abstract presentations by some of the top up and coming researchers in baseball analysis!