Baseball fans often claim that baseball is deliberate (critics might say ponderously slow) because baseball does not have a game clock. That’s nonsense; schoolyard basketball has no clock either, and it is fast. Table tennis has no clock, and it is almost too fast for the human eye. What makes baseball deliberate is not the absence of a game clock, but the unusual fact that the defense controls the ball. This lets managers fine-tune defense alignments between each pitch, which in turn encourages a contemplative, analytical approach to strategy.
The idea of using advanced analytics to measure athletes’ performance originated in baseball and has probably had more impact on this sport than on any other. This panel, returning now for its fifth year, will explore how the use of analytics in baseball has evolved, looking at how teams measure their players and evaluate potential draft, trade and free agent acquisitions. Panelists are all industry thought leaders in the use of analytics for personnel management and bring perspectives ranging from external consultants and authors to internal baseball operations personnel.
Thanks to modern data analytics, other sports are catching up to baseball. This weekend, MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference will cover many aspects of sport analytics, including team and individual performance metrics; strategies for player development, selecting draft picks, and arranging trades; evaluating referees and umpires; gambling; and the economics of ticket sales.
This panel will explore the importance of analytics in basketball. As more teams employ advanced metrics and use statistical tools, this panel will examine the changes in how players are scouted, drafted, developed, and even changes in how basketball is played today. Panelists representing the analytical community, and NBA teams, will examine topics revolving around player/team evaluation, player development, and team performance.