#### Title

Swing Shift: Placing Fielders to Minimize the Impact of a Batter

Mathematics

#### Presentation Format

Department Organized Oral Session

#### Presentation Type

On-campus research

#### Description

Baseball is a sport that is deeply tied to tradition. One of these traditions is the placement of fielders in the infield and outfield. Anyone who has played any baseball knows that when a lefty comes to bat the outfield tends to take a few steps toward right field. In recent years, some Major League Baseball teams have taken this idea to the extreme and moved fielders into seemingly strange configurations. The rules of baseball only confine the positions of the pitcher and catcher, meaning that the other seven fielders are free to play anywhere. In this project we investigate how to develop a mathematical model that would tell us the optimal place for each of the seven fielders to play. Since Atlanta Braves player Freddie Freeman is a left-handed batter and a local fan favorite, we focus on his batting tendencies to develop a model that would maximize an opposing team’s chance of getting him out. Although the model is developed using Freeman's hit chart, it can be applied to any batter of our choosing, making it a powerful tool for baseball teams to use so that they minimize the number of runs the opposing team gets.

#### Department Organized Oral Session Title

Mathematics Summer Research Experiences

#### Moderator/Professor

Liz Bouzarth, Mathematics

1

4-9-2019 9:45 AM

Riley Hall 107

#### Share

COinS

Apr 9th, 9:45 AM

Swing Shift: Placing Fielders to Minimize the Impact of a Batter

Riley Hall 107

Baseball is a sport that is deeply tied to tradition. One of these traditions is the placement of fielders in the infield and outfield. Anyone who has played any baseball knows that when a lefty comes to bat the outfield tends to take a few steps toward right field. In recent years, some Major League Baseball teams have taken this idea to the extreme and moved fielders into seemingly strange configurations. The rules of baseball only confine the positions of the pitcher and catcher, meaning that the other seven fielders are free to play anywhere. In this project we investigate how to develop a mathematical model that would tell us the optimal place for each of the seven fielders to play. Since Atlanta Braves player Freddie Freeman is a left-handed batter and a local fan favorite, we focus on his batting tendencies to develop a model that would maximize an opposing team’s chance of getting him out. Although the model is developed using Freeman's hit chart, it can be applied to any batter of our choosing, making it a powerful tool for baseball teams to use so that they minimize the number of runs the opposing team gets.