UMF student presents baseball project worthy of the majors

UMF student baseball project

FARMINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Red Sox opening day was Monday and the Sea Dog's took to Hadlock Field Friday for the first time this year. Both teams might want to think about taking some advice from University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) student Sean Cabaniss.

During his four years at UMF, baseball was the spring season sport that Cabaniss always looked forward to playing. He graduated last year with a bachelor's degree in secondary education math, but returned this year to get a second degree in math and a coaching minor. As a fifth year student he isn't eligible to play another year of baseball, but that didn't stop him from incorporating it into his education. 

"Wasn't necessarily that I got into researching it early on in high school, but it was always kind of in the back of my mind. Just the numbers game of it, so that was exciting to be able to get here and do some research," said Cabaniss.

Research not in the indoor batting cage, or on the outdoor pitching mount, but rather at the university's library. He's taking stats from the batting line ups of the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays to answer a research question. 

"Question was how are we going to optimize a baseball batting lineup," said Cabaniss. "So really what we're looking at is that there is nine players in a batting line up and to permute that there's over 360,000 ways that you can arrange those nine players."

His findings will be presented at the Michael D. Wilson Symposium held on April 26th in the Lincoln Auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington. He's been receiving help from his faculty sponsors, Chris Bennett and Nic Koban.

"This stuff has been done, statistical analysis, in football and some of these situational analysis and people don't always buy into it, but the ones that do show great results," said Bennett.

Whether Sean's findings go beyond the campus, time will tell. The student is hoping that his combined knowledge of math and baseball catches on with the majors.
 
"Potentially publish this and use that information for other teams at the college, high school and even professional level," said Cabaniss.
 
Cabaniss plans on attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in the fall to get his masters degree in exercise and sports studies. 

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