Matthew Haines – Analytics Writer
Baseball has always held a special place in my heart. As a child, some of my first memories include playing home run derby in the backyard with my father. From tee-ball to collegiate athletics, baseball has always been an integral part of my identity and lifestyle. Originally from Richmond, Virginia I am a first year student and middle infielder at Babson College in Wellesley, MA.
As a senior in high school, I enrolled in a class called math modeling, where we learned about basic models and their implementations in machine learning and prediction models. On the first day of school, my teacher and I bonded over our shared love of baseball. The next day, He gave me Vince Gennaro’s book: Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. While reading, I became “fascinated” with the application of analysis to baseball, and how we can predict, strategize, and analyze all aspects of the game on and off the field. A few weeks later, I entered my first case competition. At this competition, we were asked to determine the best trade situation for Giancarlo Stanton using a model created with lucid reasoning. One week and 15 pages later, I submitted my model. I will never forget the sense of accomplishment I felt once the final model was submitted, it was the hardest I had ever worked for an “academic” purpose. A few days later, I was informed I had won the competition and would henceforth lead a team at the SABR Analytics: Diamond Dollars Case Competition, an annual conference and competition held in Phoenix, AZ. In Arizona, my team and I were tasked with analyzing the relationship between launch angle and exit velocity, and to create a model that creates an ideal launch angle for four players. While we were the only high school at the conference, we won. At that point, I realized that baseball analytics was more than just a fascination for me, it was now an opportunity.Fast forward six months, and I find myself here, at SOTG. As a writer for the site, I plan to not only explore relevant questions posed in the baseball community, but ask new ones as well. I plan to use my love of mathematics and analysis to answer questions pertinent to a common love for us all: the game of baseball.