The Stats Guy

posted in: Sports, Spring | 0

Conner Gates adds it up for the Pacific baseball team. 

   A swimmer a part of the baseball team? 


   Conner Gates, otherwise known as Gater around campus, is a fifth-year senior majoring in Business Administration and Management. For the last five years, Conner has been a steady part of the swim team at Pacific, but after his swim season ends, Gates transitions to a different role; Statistical/Data Analytics intern for the Pacific baseball team. 

   Much like the notorious money ball theories, which 20 years ago imported mathematics and analytics to professional baseball, Gates is in charge of keeping accurate readings of the data that is received from tracking systems such as Rapsodo and Blast Motion to help develop the baseball team’s swings, throwing mechanics, and much more. He also helps out the coaching staff with scouting opposing teams for upcoming baseball games. 

   Gates and head baseball coach, Brian Billings, have been working together for many years on the baseball record board, going through past seasons to accumulate statistical leaders. This project was finished this past season. 

    When asked what his favorite memory with the baseball team was, Gates responded, “That is a hard one because my whole experience with Boxer Baseball has been so impactful in my life. If I had to choose one it would have to be the first time I brought a report to the game on a conference opponent and could see my work applied in the game by Coach Krout and Billings. It is such an achievement to see your hard work equate to success in something you are passionate about.”

   With the season nearing, Gates is very excited about this year’s baseball team, confident that they will be in the playoff race once again. With many returning leaders from the last three seasons, which were very successful for the Boxers, Gates regarded “If we are playing our best baseball come the end of the season, watch out because we can make a run.” Striving for the playoffs has been standard for Boxer baseball. The passion that Gates brings to the team is base for everyone involved in the team’s success. 

   After graduating from Pacific, Gates plans to pursue his master degree, which will lead him to stray from working with the baseball team for another year. Although he is sad this is his final season with the baseball team, Gates encourages other students to explore the idea of taking his place. Contacting Brian Billings and showing your passion for the role would be a good first step.

   The sports analytics department at Pacific does not just stop at baseball. Similar roles are beginning to become in the works, that involve working with Dr. Brian Jackson, who is in the Kinesiology Department, as well as the head of SLAM Department. Jackson is the lead professor of the Sports Data Analytics group. Interested can contact Dr. Jackson. 


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