The Phillies, finally paying attention to data and numbers and not just the ones contained in the box score, have gone outside… the box… to hire their new Director of Baseball Research and Development. According to Ryan Lawrence, they hired Andy Galdi, who most recently served as a “YouTube Quantitative Analyst/Statistician” with Google. But he’s not just a numbers nerd, he’s a sports numbers nerd. [Editor’s note: Given that a substantial portion of my income, and Jim’s paycheck, comes from Google, please, Google, know that nerd is a genuine term of endearment. Jim, himself, is a nerd.]
Galdi, before Google, worked as a Baseball Operations Analyst for the St. Louis Cardinals on a part-time basis. He also spent two years working as an Officiating Analyst with the NBA, where he actually did pretty impressive things, if you’re a nerd:
• Created and managed a SQL database of play-by-play, betting line, and referee accuracy data
• Developed a Monte Carlo simulation of basketball to test the impact of potential rule chances on factors such as scoring, game time, and game competitiveness
• Modeled the probability of winning based on time remaining, score, and possession to analyze referee performance and to screen for suspicious calling patterns
• Evaluated published research concerning referee bias and accuracy to ascertain its value and applicability to internal models and processes
He also worked as an intern with the Mets where he “aided in development of team’s Bayesian hierarchical model for determining individual players’ fielding ability.” Yes. I definitely know what that means.
After years and years of ignoring analytics and advanced data like Larry Brown scouting an AAU game, the Phillies are headed sharply in the other direction. It actually feels kinda weird, but I like it. Kanye knows that feeling.