Dodgers Looking to Hire Statistical Analysts, Apparently

(Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

What better way is there to start an offseason than placing an online ad for a quantitative analyst position with hopes of bolstering your organization’s research  and development department?

Well, apparently, that’s just what the Dodgers are attempting to do.

As I was browsing through the pages of Fangraphs hoping to find some fresh insight on why some Los Angeles players suddenly went cold in the 2019 NLDS, I happened to come across the ad.

Not just is the team hiring a full-time analyst, but they are also hiring a quantitative analysis intern. So, if you’re a college student pursing a degree in statistics, computer science, mathematics or any other STEM field related area, this intern spot could be a great opportunity for you.

The new hires will report to the Director of Quantitative Analysis, Mr. Scott Powers.

The Dodgers are among the most technologically advanced organizations in baseball. In turn, their research and development department is quite expansive. In addition to Mr. Powers, there is one other director in the R&D department—Mr. Daniel Cervone, the Director of Quantitative Research.

Currently, Ms. Megan Schroeder is listed as the manager of R&D.

According to the main description of the position, the new quantitative analyst will collaborate with experts from the statistics, computer science and biomechanics departments, who will challenge the new hire to bring scientific rigor to the team’s research. This position offers the opportunity to solve challenging problems in data science and ultimately see the impact of one’s work on the baseball diamond.

A bachelor’s degree in some type of data science is required.

Robert Van Scoyoc, Brant Brown and Aaron Bates are part of what the Dodgers have assembled as a state-of-the-art team of hitting coaches. The crew also extends to front-office analysts, working away from the field to provide data to the on-field staff. This new quantitative analyst would be considered among those positions.

Some folks around the organization often refer to this part of the R&D operation as the Dodgers’ “swing department.”

“Given how difficult hitting is and how much information (opponents) have on our hitters, it’s our job to make sure our hitters are just as prepared for every AB,” Van Scoyoc said not long after being hired last winter. “So we’re going to use the entire hitting staff to make sure we’re as prepared for every AB as humanly possible.”

After leading the entire National League with 279 long balls and 886 runs scored during the regular season, a big part of the Los Angeles offense went quiet against the Nationals during the 2019 NLDS. In the series, the Dodgers had players galore who were slumping tremendously. A.J. Pollock was 0-for-13 with 11 strikeouts. Corey Seager was 3-for-20 with eight punchouts. Cody Bellinger, who is a leading candidate for NL MVP, was 4-for-19 with seven Ks. Will Smith was 1-for-13. Chris Taylor was 1-for-8. The list goes on.

Neither Mr. Powers nor Mr. Cervone were available on Sunday morning to discuss the job postings further.


29 thoughts on “Dodgers Looking to Hire Statistical Analysts, Apparently

  1. All that sounds like what we already have squared.

    I know what’s needed. It’s as simple as the nose on your face and in fact that is where it goes. It’s special analytics glasses that allows hitters to pick up spin right from release. For a few thousand more you can add an algorithm device in the frame that will immediately inform you, based on release point, spin, and velocity whether that pitch is a strike or not.

    You know we aren’t far from that.

    Wish I had the brains to invent it. I do not. But now that I’ve put the idea out into the quantum universe, somebody will.

    You’re welcome.

  2. Why don’t we just pass a law that says the pitcher has to call out what he’s throwing at the point he lets the pitch go. I’m sure we could get the House to pass it, but I doubt the Senate has enough votes.
    Therefore, I’m endorsing Scoop’s idea.

    1. Congress wouldn’t have a clue wtf we are talking about. The Senate is gutless and will only do what they are told to do by the Commissioner. We the fan-people must do this on our own.

      Thank you Jefe. I accept your endorsement, and upon receipt of your down payment will put you in charge of R&D. (Hey, we both know how this process works)

      1. The amount of time they spend in forcing our guys to deal with the shift will probably be directly proportional to how long it will take us to get another ring.

      2. Oh, Great Scooper, I thank you for your endorsement of my endorsement, even though you’ve tied it to a payoff. As Doc and AF always say, we need to follow the process. Hey, maybe this is what they’ve been talking about.

      3. quid – what I offer you, pro – for, quo – what I get from you in return. Or maybe it’s quid, the money you give me for quo, the opportunity I give you. Whatever. Like I said, we both know how this works. And this is a good deal for you.

        Regarding Dennis’ “on a serious note”…. what are you suggesting? But in an effort to answer it – not much. I suggest they are using outdated algorithms. It’s also likely there isn’t enough current information available to them to know if the strategy actually works. Nobody seems to be doing it. No data. I tried to give them some research (works consulted, Mantle, M. 1956) but nobody responded.

  3. More analytics ?? I’m shocked. They can hire Will Hunting & the last 12 recipients of the Fields Medal for all I care but can these MIT geeks stop Seager from swinging at sliders at his back leg? Seager was on fire in Aug & Sept with over 30 extra base hits in those months. Calendar flipped to Oct & he’s back to lunging & being impatient. I like Seager & I’m not singling him out because his teammates looked just as befuddled w/RISP. This is deeper than a numbers crunching game. Change of scenery for a few players?Change in hitting coaches/philosophy? I don’t know. I do know they led the NL in HR, RUNS, & 2nd in OPS. That didn’t translate come Oct when the lights were brightest.
    Changes need to happen…. again, we wait.

  4. I have a question, any of those analytic geeks know how to bunt? Can they close down the opposition in the 9th with a 1 run lead? Supplying them with info is one thing, putting that info into use and succeeding is another. I am no analyst, I am a 71 year old fan sitting on my couch watching these guys for a majority of the regular season and all of the playoffs, and what I have seen is players who despite knowing where there weak spots are, continuing to chase pitches they could not hit if they were a snake or a contortionist. I totally agree with Friddo here, Gionfriddo takes to long to type, Seager was totally out of his comfort zone and chased the same unhittable pitch again and again, what’s worse is that he did it when they had golden opportunity’s to score a bunch of runs. It reminded me so much of Bellinger in the 17 world series. This 3 true outcome philosophy is driving me to drink. Not only do they not try to beat the shift, they employ it in the field and weak grounders become run scoring singles. Oh, there will be changes coming mainly because they have 12 arbitration eligible players and some free agents. But will they come where they are needed the most, philosophically? I doubt that happens. Where is Brett Butler when you really need him?

    1. Those dinky little grounders that manage to work their way through our shift drive me crazy too Bear, but stats show that in the long run you get more than you give up when using those shifts.
      What is the reason they are successful? Because no one is doing enough to work against the shift (the other thing that drives us crazy).
      Where is Brett Butler when you need him? If he was active today, he’d probably be the first guy to get non-tendered because all he knew how to do was bunt and hit singles.
      Isn’t Money Ball basically predicated on taking advantage of undervalued skills? Some smart front office guy or manager will realize that beating the shift is very undervalued in today’s game and things will start changing back again.

      1. I like that kind of player, gets on, sets up the big bats behind him, steals bases and is a very good defender.

      2. You’re old Bear. Life and baseball have passed you by. Listen to the young guys like me and we’ll steer you straight.
        Oh wait a minute………………………..I’m a year older than you are.

    2. Yes. Those analytics geeks know that bunting is often a foolish waste of a pa and that it’s usually better to swing away. Try looking at a Run Expectancy chart some time–they map thousands and thousands of plate appearances, including bunts. The conclusions should be obvious.

      “Can they close down the opposition in the 9th with a 1 run lead?”
      —Sure. Call in the guy or guys who match up best.

      “I am no analyst, I am a 71 year old fan sitting on my couch…”
      —Oh, shocker. The game has changed so much because we’ve gotten smarter. We know more.
      You might want to give that a try. Your post reeks of the fear of constructive change.

      1. That’s your opinion there bud. If bunting for a base hit when they leave the entire opposite side of the field open for you and causes them to quit shifting it is a useful tool. Or at least learning to take the pitch where it is thrown like Pederson did in his first AB in game 5. I have no fear of change, I just think the geeks have made the game less watchable with their 3 true outcome attitudes and the all or nothing swings. Roberts used the match up thing a lot, and it did not work out all that well did it? You do not know me at all so I do not think you are qualified to judge how I see the game.

  5. Wow, the Phillies are really checking out the dust bin, they are going to interview Dusty Baker, I did not know he was still in baseball, but he works for the Giants.

      1. I bet Tommy wishes he was healthy enough to still manage a team. Baker is 70 now, 1 year younger than me.

    1. I doubt they hire Baker.

      The team that wins using old school fundamentals will change the algorithms. As far as chasing, we’ve already addressed that. These guys need their eyes checked. I’m telling you – they can’t see the spin! If you don’t have 20/15 vision in both eyes get hitters glasses that give it to you. Until then, they will continue to over swing at pitches they can’t reach.

  6. Yep, we are old, but I liked our brand of baseball a whole lot better. More exciting, close games, pitchers that FINISHED what they started. No 12 pitcher bullpens, one batter specialists, guys who could steal bases and bun. I once scored on a missed bunt sign, I was half way down the line and I yelled at the batter because he missed the sign, the catcher looked at me and threw the ball back to the pitcher, as soon as he did that I took off for home…heads up baseball, I miss that game.

    1. The catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher with you hung up between third and home? Heads up baseball? Head up his ass.

      But, point taken. I’ve been raging on ML outfielders for years for not backing up bases. Nobody can bunt anymore. Not even pitchers. No steals, no hit and run. People love the long ball, players are bigger and stronger than at any time in the sport’s history, bats are harder, balls are harder, ballparks are smaller. This is what the people want. And they are willing to pay for it. 1960’s baseball is SO yesterday. We’ll see world peace before we see the bunt come back.

      1. I wasn’t talking about the catcher, I was talking about me. I once hit 3 triples in a softball game. I was so winded they damn near needed the paramedics. Hit 3 homers in a game once too. That’s my claim to softball fame.

      2. Yeah, I know you were talking about yourself Bear, and I’m sure you were a heads up player. But on that play you describe the hitter missed a sign and the catcher screwed the pooch. That’s an unearned run on my scorecard.

        I got so many softball stories I wouldn’t know where to begin. But I’ll try…. about 15 or so tournament wins, don’t know the exact number, Somewhere around a dozen All Tournament trophies, 2 MVP’s, 1 National Championship, as an alternate (couldn’t make the trip to Cincinnati) 3 trips to State, never won it, 5th twice, I’ll stop there.

        Rams look terrible. That was an embarrassing loss. Goff was pressured all day, can’t handle the heat, can’t run worth crap. We need better QB play. We need DeShaun Montana.

  7. I played mostly while I was in the Army. Main sources of recreation for me were softball, fast and slow pitch, and bowling. 15 cents a game at an army bowling alley. I bowled in 3 different leagues in Germany. Played in 2 leagues during the softball season. Weather in Germany was not very good long enough to play more than 15 or 20 softball games. After I got out, I was more into playing music than sports, besides my knees were really barking at me by then.

    1. While stationed at MCRD I tried out for the Marine Corps baseball team. I was told by the Captain that ran rec he would get me on the team ASAP. I thought I had it made. Those guys were all promoted to E-4 and did nothing but play baseball all over the place, including Hawaii and Japan. Didn’t play an inning as my orders came through WestPac. Off I went.

      Looks like it’s me and you left here Bear. Others must be waiting for Dodger news, which won’t happen for quite a while.

      1. The only news coming out of Dodgerland are updates on the kids playing in the Arizona fall league. And for the most part none of them are tearing up the league. Kendall is having a pretty bad season down there. Barely above the Mendoza line for a guy who is supposed to be a contact hitter.

  8. I wonder if USC is going to finally fire Helton. They really dislike having back to back mediocre seasons. They almost came back against Notre Dame, but they gave up too many points in the first quarter. Davis got injured in China the other day, so the Lakers won’t know how bad until they get back to LA.

  9. Hey, you two have good stories. Keep them coming cuz I like them. Thanks for your service.
    Well, AF per Jorge Castillo, just said his new contract will be finalized in the coming days. No shock there. I don’t agree with him coming back but Mark Walter & Stan Kasten never consulted me.
    Jeren Kendall? I’ve watched this kid in the Cal League for 2 seasons now (approx 5 games worth). I’m not a scout, don’t profess to be one but I’ve watched baseball my whole life (I’m in my 50s) & this kid is shaping up to be a 1st rd bust. 2.9 mill signing bonus. He can absolutely fly but as the old saying goes, you can’t steal 1st base. They’ve tried a myriad of new stances with him, put his hands in different spots or load positions if u will– bottom line, he has WAY too much swing &, miss.
    Rams? The 1st drive they ran it down the Niners throat with relative ease. After that, the O line was atrocious. They have serious issues on multiple fronts– McVay & Son of Bum need to make adjustments & get that thing straightened out. SOON…..

    1. Too add to what Friedman said at his presser, Honeycutt will become a “special assistant” and although they didn’t make it absolutely official, it seems very likely that Prior will be the new pitching coach. As much as I like Honey, I think it’s probably time for a new face and Prior seems to have the respect of the pitching staff.
      Friedman also stated that there is a good chance they will be involved in the big free agents, although didn’t get into any specifics.
      Jeren Kendall – can’t win ’em all. He’s been pretty much of a bust from the get go. On the other hand, it looks as though Lux, another first rounder, should be a much better pick.

      1. No problem Al….short for Gionfriddo, Scoop and I are full of it, er story’s that is. Scoop was a pretty good ballplayer. He was a Gyrene though, and I was in Uncle Sam’s army. Both of us served during the Viet Nam war. I never went, had the wrong MOS, that means job. I was a radar tech in a missile unit. Served in Germany, Korea and the rest of my service time I was in Texas at Ft. Bliss. Played ball down there in a 40 and older league. We got to play at the AA stadium there a couple of times. Outfield walls were about 25 feet high. Closest I ever came to hitting one out was a shot that hit about 3 feet below the top off of the RF wall. When the Angels had their farm team there in the early 70’s, they were called the Diablos. Wore all red uni’s. Anyway, a few guys who would make it to the big club were there, Frank Panik, and Ron Jackson. Their manager was Norm Sherry. The team was owned by Bing Russell, yeah, Kurt’s dad. And for a short time Kurt played for them as a 2nd baseman. His baseball career was cut short by a shoulder injury, but the guy could play. He was hitting over .400 when he got hurt. Sherry and his brother lived about 2 and 4 houses from me in the early 60’s and before they would head for Vero, they would go down to a park called Arroyo Seco and work out. Us kids would shag balls for them. Lefevbre was there and a couple of other players. Jim was not on the roster yet, but would be ROY in 65.. I was in Munich when they kidnapped and killed the Israeli athletes. We were in Munich stadium for the memorial service. I sang the anthem at Dodger Stadium in 81. Got to go into the dugout and meet Tommy and the guys. I knew Wes Parker and he got me that gig. I gave my son the autographed ball I had from that night, and naturally, he lost it. Met my hero, Duke Snider at a card show, I still have his autographed picture on my wall. So I am and always have been a fan. I remember games at the coliseum very well. Sat behind the screen a couple of times, but usually we were way down the RF line. Saw a huge fight with the Cardinals when Solly Hemus was the manager, Big D hit Joe Cunningham, and after checking on his 1st baseman, Hemus said something to Don while cutting across the infield and it was on. Also met John Russell, the actor who was in the TV series Lawman sitting out there in right. It has been a fun ride, lots of ups and downs, but at least unlike many Cubs fans, and some very young Indians fans, I have seen my team win it all. That much I am happy for. I saw Mays, Musial, Aaron, Rose, Gibson, Koufax, Big D, and some of the best players ever. I missed Campy except seeing him and Jackie on TV a couple of times, and I saw my team win a title in it’s second year in LA. It has been fun.

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