Good news, baseball geeks: the Toronto Blue Jays are hiring a baseball operations analyst as well as an analytics intern! For the analyst position, they are looking for someone to create, test, and implement "advanced baseball metrics" and to directly aid baseball operations in decision-making. The emphasis, the job posting states, will be on roster transactions, arbitration, and amateur drafts. The baseball operations analytics intern is a more junior position that will help coordinate scouting reports as well as do some statistical research and analysis. The internship is a eight-month contract and it looks like one of the biggest tasks would be to prepare for the amateur draft in June. I will focus on the operations analyst position for this post, since it seems more exciting.
Looking at the Blue Jays front office staff list from the 2013 media guide, I see that there is no "baseball operations analyst" (the closest job is the "baseball information analyst") so this seems like a new position within the club. The hire will probably take over some of the work that previously fell into the job description of Jay Satori, who recently left the Blue Jays for Apple.
It is nice to see that the Blue Jays seem to be ready to devote human resources to statistical analysis. The Houston Astros have recently invested in a lot of statistical talents, having established a department of decision sciences under the direction of Sig Mejdal. They have hired a bunch of former Baseball Prospectus writers, like Colin Wyers, Mike Fast, and Kevin Goldstein to name a few. For us who believe in sabermetrics and using mathematics to supplement traditional scouting, this is a fantastic change of approach by Major League Baseball clubs.
RESPONSIBILITIES (include, but not limited to):
- Design, test, implement, and maintain advanced baseball metrics and predictive models using statistical tools and analysis.
- Interface with the Baseball Operations leadership on player evaluation and valuation, in-game strategy, and transactions by presenting the results of analysis in a clear, understandable fashion.
- Maintain critical scouting/statistical databases and monitor the import of data feeds.
- Assist other staff on the proper use and implementation of statistical techniques, algorithms, and tools.
- Keep abreast of developments in statistical fields related to techniques, algorithms, and tools applicable to baseball research and recommend/implement them where applicable.
- Keep abreast with publically available baseball research in order to integrate new models and processes into the existing infrastructure.
- Assist in one-off research projects to answer specific questions for the Baseball Operations staff.
- Assist the Baseball Operations department with larger scale projects as directed.
- Strong baseball knowledge.
- Strong knowledge in Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word).
- Demonstrated strong knowledge of databases, SQL, and R and how they apply to baseball.
- Experience manipulating large baseball related data-sets.
- Demonstrated analytic skills related to sports.
- Familiarity with a scripting language such as Perl or Python is a plus.
- Up to date with current publically available baseball research and analytics.
- Professional attitude and work ethic with strong interpersonal skills.
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or recent practical experience.
- Baseball playing or scouting experience are a plus.
So we can see that the position will influence player evaluation as well as in-game strategy. The qualifications indicate that they are looking for someone who knows baseball, advanced statistics, and who are able to present data in an easily understandable way... sounds like some baseball bloggers to me.
The Blue Jays are also seeking a baseball operations scouting intern.
I do encourage those who feel they are qualified to apply for the one of the jobs--opportunities like these don't come around that often. It would be a good idea if you have several pieces of analytical work ready to show the hiring committee. Perhaps try them out on us as a FanPost.