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Proceedings of the 2017 Undergraduate Mathematics Day

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Defense wins championships, or so they say. How do baseball organizations find the right defenders to win games? FanGraphs has published a series of metrics that teams throughout Major Leage Baseball use to quantify players’ fielding prowess. Baseball analysts use Wins Above Replacement, WAR, to predict who should be the league most valuable player, MVP. This uses defensive metrics to quantify how many runs the player produces when the team wins. The paper will discuss the metrics that already exist, and the technology that has been developed to analyze these metrics and other measurements of a player’s defensive skills.






This paper was presented Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, as part of Undergraduate Mathematics Day at the University of Dayton. Launched in 2003, Undergraduate Mathematics Day is held in odd-numbered years and alternates with the Biennial Alumni Career Seminar. The conference coincides with the annual Schraut Memorial Lecture, named Kenneth “Doc” Schraut, a mathematics faculty member from 1940 to 1978 and department chair from 1954 to 1970.

The 2017 invited lecturer was Joseph Gallian, the Morse Alumni Distinguished University Professor of Teaching at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a past president of the Mathematical Association of America. He presented the lecture “Breaking Driver’s License Codes.”

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