The Padres and Marlins each made a huge acquisition this week, though not the kind we typically cover here on MLBTR. Yesterday, FanGraphs stalwart Dave Cameron announced he will be joining the Padres to help build out their Research and Development department. And this morning, former MLBTR contributor Bradley Woodrum announced he’s joining the Marlins analytics team. Cameron and Woodrum were among the best sabermetric analysts operating in the public sphere, and we’ll sorely miss reading their work.
I first encountered Dave’s work about ten years ago, on U.S.S. Mariner. More than anyone, Dave was able to do incredibly intelligent baseball analysis in an understandable, easy-to-read way. Dave is a pioneer in the field of sabermetrics, and I made a point to read just about everything he wrote. I don’t remember much about the early days of FanGraphs, except that it had more graphs. When Dave joined, his writing made FanGraphs a must-read as well. Of course, the site has brought in countless talented writers and analysts since then. I first reached out to Dave in 2009 in hopes of understanding WAR better. He’s been gracious with his time over the years when I’ve approached him with many questions and has been a longtime friend of MLBTR. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune spoke to Dave, who has had previous interest from MLB teams, about his decision to accept the Padres’ offer.
Back in 2015, Bradley Woodrum applied for a project we were launching on MLBTR: an attempt to create a model that predicts the chance of a pitcher having Tommy John surgery (updated last September). I knew Brad from his stellar work at FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. The Tommy John project was a daunting undertaking, and I was amazed by Brad’s analytical abilities, professionalism, and perseverance in getting the project to the finish line. It took the better part of a year, but Brad delivered what I considered to be the best possible TJS prediction model, given the limitations of public data. I’m proud to have hosted that work on MLBTR. Armed with the superior data of a Major League club, I expect Brad to do great things.
MLBTR wishes the best to Dave Cameron and Bradley Woodrum in their new careers!