Nomination Accepted: The SABR Analytics Conference Awards

On Thursday night I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Jacob Pomrenke of the Society for American Baseball Research, informing me that one of my articles — “The Case of the Disappearing Slugger: Where Did MLB’s Power Go?”, published last September 3 — has been selected as a finalist in the Contemporary Analysis category of the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards. The full slate of nominees, five articles apiece in the categories of Contemporary Analysis, Contemporary Commentary, and Historical Analysis/Commentary, was announced on Friday.

Written on the occasion of Giancarlo Stanton’s 35th home run, my piece examined the possibility that the majors would fail to produce a single 40-homer slugger for the first time since 1982, situating the declining numbers of such players — Nelson Cruz wound up being the only one to make it there, with Stanton stopped at 37 due to a horrific beaning — against the larger backdrop of falling home run and scoring rates as well as the reasons they’re on the wane. Like so:

It truly is just an honor to join the rest of the slate:

Contemporary Analysis

Contemporary Commentary

Historical Analysis/Commentary

The winner in each category will be determined by online voting at,,,, and, starting next week, with the results at each site weighted equally at 20, and the announcement of the winner during the conference in Phoenix, from March 12-14 (alas, I’m unlikely to be attending this year). As the only writer within my category not currently affiliated with one of the last four sites — and one of the few from a mainstream site, where the whir of the propeller hats can’t overwhelm the conversation, and where there’s no resident voting bloc — I don’t expect to win. Nor should I, at least as far as I can see. Pavlidas and Brooks’ pitch-framing piece laid the groundwork for numbers that I use every week, and the others were no less impressive or sophisticated. Not that I’d turn my nose up at anyone who wants to vote for me, but it’s a gas to be in the aforementioned company, regardless of the outcome, and I’m grateful to those who consider my work on that level.

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