Date of Publication

Summer 2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Katharine Burakowski


Baseball teams have been trying to understand how player performance changes over the course of their career for decades. Officials have wanted to figure out a better way of determining how much a player should make in their contract by trying to predict how their performance might change in the future. Front office officials need to better understand the importance experience might have when it comes to predicting a player’s future performance. In the previous study by Sturman & Thibodeau (2001), the researchers found that players tended to decline in performance once they signed a long term deal. The current study investigated 30 current Major League Baseball players, examining how their performance changed once they signed a long term deal during an arbitration year. This was done in order to comprehend the importance of experience in the league when deciding to sign a player long-term. Data was collected from as well as and put into a spreadsheet. The data was then analyzed to show the number of players whose performance changed after signing and how much it changed by. The research showed that, while there was almost always a change in performance, almost the same amount of players improved as declined. This means that less experienced players are more rewarding to sign to long term deals because of the higher rate of positive change compared to more experienced players. These findings give justification for teams looking to sign young talent to greater deals.