Editor’s note: This post is part of our new Sports Analytics Roundup series. You can read more about the new series here. One of the goals of this new series is to foster engagement within the analytics community. Thus, I encourage you to comment with your opinions and thoughts.
Moneyball Revisited: This is from last week now, but it's really, really good. Grantland's Jonah Keri sat down for two hours with Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane and owner Lew Wolff. Yes, that Billy Beane of Moneyball fame. There are tons of great tidbits in here. Go read it if you're interested in the current state of baseball analytics.
Beane shared how "it all about what you do with the data." It's possible that cheap positional versatility might be incredibly valuable. He petitioned that teams "shouldn't be rewarded for poor performance" in the draft. Both interviews highly value continuity. And there was an indirect nod to my friend Lewie Pollis' research on how front-office executives might be woefully underpaid.
Big boost for Catapult: Mark Cuban announced his investment in GPS tracking technology start-up Catapult last week. Catapult is an up-and-coming Australian group with roots in AFL players and a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. You'll be hearing much more about them in the years to come with the mass usage of such tech. Here's what Cuban had to say, as reported by Australian Financial Review's John Stensholt.
“Wearable analytics will be a critical advantage in pro sports and eventually as it shrinks in size, in business. It won’t revolutionise [the sports industry], but it will make teams smarter and keep players on the court more. It also may save a career or even a life on the way.”
Golf Analytics: Now this is an emerging field. Here's a book review at a Golf Analytics blog of Mark Broadie's reportedly oft-discussed research into "strokes gained," a new approach of analyzing the sport. If you're curious, this review is a nice introduction to some new ways of thinking. I certainly learned a lot, even just as a peripheral fan.
Running back age curves: Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart recently revisited his previous research on the aging curves for NFL running backs. The chart in this article is pretty daunting; I didn’t quite realize how drastic the drop-off is for players after they start to get 27. What’s interesting, as opposed to usual research for the MLB and NBA, is that players’ primes are mostly 23-27. Usually, 27 is considered the start of athletic prime..
NBA Roundup: Bleacher Report's Michael Pina looked at the Celtics curiously unadvanced offensive methods. The Denver Post's Nick Kosmider wrote about the varying roles of analytics for college basketball programs, with a long mention of Krossover. Andrew Bergmann at NBA.com had some really awesome passing analytics visualizations. And Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski talked with Toronto's Kyle Lowry, who shared: "You can really help yourself if you understand analytics." That's pretty neat.
Twitter Shoutouts: David Locke has a chart on the NBA's best corner three-point shooters. Outnumbered's Eric T has a neat chart on how the Maple Leafs consistently get out-shot by opponents. Adam Jacobs has a cool Kevin Love-Blake Griffin comparison. Jordan Sperber has an interesting table on NCAA tournament teams with great offenses and poor defenses; many have struggled. And High Heat Stats charts out the inverse correlation of MLB run-scoring and high-leverage plate appearances.
Jacob Rosen is a graduate of the University of Dayton, where he majored in applied mathematical economics and was the school newspaper's editor-in-chief and sports editor. Currently, Jacob (an Akron native) contributes to WaitingForNextYear, a website dedicated to Cleveland sports.