Baseball Stats

justinsims646.jpg

CATEGORY: Academics
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

By | Justin Sims ’14 
Bronx, New York
Mathematics, Economics

After Mac: New York Yankees, statistical analyst

Along with Professor Addona, I investigated how age affects the Major League Baseball draft. We looked into both absolute age (on draft day) and relative age, as determined by the player’s Little League grouping. 

Until 2006, the Little League cutoff date for baseball was August 1, meaning that a player born August 1 of one year would be playing against players born July 31of the following year. Those born August 1 would be nearly a year older. 

We find that significantly more relatively old players (those born in August, September, October) are drafted by MLB teams compared to those born late in the Little League year (May, June, July). However, given that a player has been drafted, relatively young players have reached the major leagues significantly more often. Additionally, given that a player has reached the major leagues, there is no significant difference based on relative age. We find a similar result for absolute age, where significantly more young draftees reach the majors, but once in the majors, there is no significant difference based on absolute age. 

We collected our data from baseball-reference.com and thebaseballcube.com and conducted our analyses in R. I had taken only a couple of purely statistics-based courses coming into this research, but Professor Addona was always there to help. I used this research to write my honors thesis in mathematics. 

In September, Professor Addona and I presented our findings at the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports (NESSIS) at Harvard University. There I met some very intelligent people working both in the sports industry and academic circles, an incredible experience that not many students are afforded.

PUBLISHED: 05/09/2014