College Kids Competed in a SABR Contest to Figure Out the Best Cole Hamels Trade
We know Cole Hamels would like to be traded, which is something that Ruben Amaro (it seems) would like to do. But Ruben’s style of looking at a list of a team’s top prospects and saying, “I’ll have the top three, please” doesn’t seem to be working. So college students in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition at March’s Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference in Phoenix (DDCCAMSFABRACIP, for short) did their best SABR work to hammer out a deal.
A group of Arizona State masters students — including a kid who interned (paid? unpaid?) as a statistical analyst with the Arizona Diamondbacks and has heard from several major league clubs who want to interview him — said the best deal would be for the Phillies to send Cole Hamels to the Red Sox for elder Manuel Margot and pitchers Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriquez. Here’s how the winners explained their method:
Once we identified the 30 nearest neighbors, we used their production to simulate Hamels’ WARP each year from age 31 to 35. We then ran simulations on each age specific histogram. Each histogram contains six bins, with bin sizes dependent on the WARP of our nearest neighbors at that age. In each simulation, bins were selected through random number generation. Because WARP is uniformly distributed within bins, we randomly selected the projected WARP within the selected bin. If a player had not reached the necessary age for a specific histogram (e.g. Jon Lester), he was not considered in that histogram.
Reached for comment, Amaro was terse:
A histro-what? Histogram? Is that the thing where people post photos of their cats?