BP adds an accomplished author and a valuable resource.
I enjoy announcing additions much more than I do dealing with departures, so I'm thrilled to have only two exciting additions to announce today:
Starting November 27th, Zachary Levine will be writing regularly for Baseball Prospectus. Here's his origin story:
Zachary Levine comes to BP off three years covering the Astros for the Houston Chronicle, including the last two on a full-time basis, giving him a nice view of most of the 111 wins and 213 losses. When the annual trips to the highly underrated NL Central ports of Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati were snatched away in favor of the AL West's suburban hellscapes, he took shelter as BP's newest hire for major-league coverage. You can also follow him on Twitter @zacharylevine.
Before joining the Chronicle, Zachary was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in mathematics. He currently maintains a fairly nomadic existence concentrated in Albany, N.Y., Houston, and maybe your couch.
He is left-handed.
Jason Martinez, whom you already know from his work with the Minor League Update, will be expanding his role with Baseball Prospectus by bringing all the functionality from his website, MLBDepthCharts.com, to BP in January 2013. I asked Jason to write a few words about the move:
In case you're not familiar with MLBDepthCharts.com, let me take a minute to explain the concept. I launched the site in February 2009 with the intention of showing readers what each team’s projected roster looked like “on paper,” as well as a snapshot of each organization's farm system. It has become an important resource for baseball fans, fantasy baseball enthusiasts, journalists, scouts, and front office executives. The move to Baseball Prospectus makes MLBDC even more user-friendly, since the statistics and analysis available at BP will be only one click away, helping readers make sense of the non-stop stream of roster moves and transactions. Other MLBDC staples, including the “How Assembled” charts, Tommy John surgery tracker, Designated for Assignment tracker, and regular features such as “Knocking Down the Door” and “Under the Radar” will all continue to be accessible through the MLBDC-related pages.
Kansas City Royals Job Posting - Systems Architect
Kansas City Royals looking for Systems Architect, Baseball Analytics
The Kansas City Royals are looking to hire a Systems Architect for their Baseball Analytics department. You can apply for the position by going to Team Work online. A copy of the job description is below. Let the Royals know you read about the opening at Baseball Prospectus.
The Kansas City Royals Baseball Club is seeking a highly motivated data architect and systems developer to deliver analytics solutions to both baseball and business operations. While primarily working with baseball operations, this individual will also support projects for broader business operations. The ideal applicant will be able to manage multiple concurrent projects that expand the overall Royals’ information architecture and analytics capabilities.
Develop interfaces, data imports, and/or other ETL processes for identified data sources
Apply database design and warehousing best practices to enterprise environment
Support gathering and implementing data definitions and relationships, analytics requirements and reporting needs from the organization
Develop organizational collaboration and information delivery tools
Manage data lifecycle based on retention and storage requirements
Ensure jobs and processes execute successfully, and ensure accuracy of data
Understand data and be able to explain data structures and relationships to other members of baseball and business operations
Ensure that systems and solutions are in line with organizational objectives
Interface with analysts and staff on creation of optimal data structure for analytical purposes
Other related duties as assigned
4 year degree or equivalent experience is required. Specialized training or certifications are a plus
Ability to work evening, weekend, and holiday hours during the baseball season is a must
Excellent interpersonal and communications skills and ability to interact and work with staff at all levels
Ability to recognize and maintain confidentiality of work materials and issues as appropriate
Experience with the following tools, platforms and business data:
o SQL server 2005 or newer – required (SQL server 2008 preferred)
o SSIS ETL development - required
o Ruby on Rails, AJAX, HTML5 or equivalent technologies - required
o Development of portable platforms (PC, mobile) - required
o Statistical performance data – preferred
o Business intelligence experience is a plus
o Baseball knowledge and exposure to baseball statistics is a plus
The argument over the AL MVP isn't a pointless squabble.
I suppose that we ought to be used to this at this point. Noted author, columnist, sportswriter, and Detroit resident Mitch Albom wrote about the obvious big story involving the city of Detroit and the game of baseball: yesterday's naming of Miguel Cabrera as American League MVP. But his sub-headline proclaimed the award as a victory over "the stat geeks." For the most part it followed the same cliched form that these pieces tend to, complete with the veiled and not-so-veiled insults that somehow keep being peddled as journalism. Albom pulls out two old favorites in his column: that the "stat nerd" crowd never sees the sun and that we are not fans and probably don't actually watch games.
Notes from around the AFL and Caribbean Winter Leagues
The Arizona Fall League regular season has come to an end -- Peoria will play Salt River in the Championship Game on Saturday -- so now the moment you've all been waiting for ... my AFL MVP and Cy Young picks.
Twins outfielder Nate Robertsgets the MVP nod after he hit .446 with a .565 OBP and 6 SB in 19 games. The 23 year-old also hit 3 HR and knocked in 15 runs. Pirates pitcher Kyle Kaminska, acquired from the Marlins on July 31st, is my pick for the AFL Cy Young winner. The 24 year-old had a 1.61 ERA with 4 BB and 21 K in 28 IP. Congrats guys! I'll type out a certificate and send it to you.
More from around the AFL and Caribbean Winter Leagues ...
Hanser Alberto, SS, Rangers (Surprise): 4-for-4, SB (4). The 20 year-old finished the regular season with a four-hit game to boost his average to .397. He also finished with four stolen bases while being caught four times and had four extra base-hits and four strikeouts on the season. Most of his damage was done with the bases empty, however, as he had 20 hits in 32 at-bats in those situations.
Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels (Escogido-DWL): 2-for-5, RBI, BB. Calhoun is only 17-for-70 in the DWL but he has a hit in six straight games. If the Angels stand pat with their outfield this offseason, the 25 year-old could play a significant role, even off the bench, as the lone left-handed hitter among five outfielders.
Robbie Erlin, LHP, Padres(Peoria): 5 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 6 K. Another start, another terrific outing for Erlin, who finishes the AFL with a 2.28 ERA, 6 BB, and 31 K in 23.2 IP. The 22 year-old allowed just 1 ER over his last three starts with 2 BB and 18 K in 13 IP.
Tyson Gillies, OF, Phillies (Lara-VWL): 2-for-5, RBI, BB. Since being acquired from the Mariners in a deal for Cliff Lee in December 2009, Gillies' career has been sidetracked, mostly because of injuries. A strong 68-game stint with Double-A Reading (.822 OPS) and a fast start in the VWL (.831 OPS in 10 games) is helping to put the 24 year-old back on the prospect radar. It won't stop the Phillies, however, from offering center fielders B.J. Uptonor Michael Bourna long-term deal this offseason. At least he's finally showing some of the talent he flashed early in his minor league career.
Scott Kazmir, LHP, Free Agent(Carolina-PRBL): 4 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K. Why should anyone care that a 28 year-old who posted a 5.34 ERA for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League in 2012 had a half-way decent outing against a lineup of minor leaguers? Because it's Scott Kazmir, a two-time All-Star with the Devil Rays and one of the best young starting pitchers in the game from 2005-08. By age 26, he appeared to be done and he's been trying to work his way back ever since. Baseball fans love a great comeback story and while that appears to be a long shot at this point, crazier things have happened in this game.
Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, Royals (Surprise): 3-for-5, HR (1), 2 RBI. The 23 year-old utilityman didn't have much success in the AFL but he did finish with five hits in his last nine at-bats, including his lone HR and four of his eight RBI on the season.
Zeke Spruill, RHP, Braves (Phoenix): 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K. This sinker baller is certain to play a part in the Braves' offseason plans, whether he's part of a trade package to acquire a third baseman or an outfielder, or whether his presence in the farm system gives the Braves the comfort level to trade Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, or J.R. Graham. Expect the 23 year-old to start the 2013 season in Triple-A.
Max Stassi, C, Athletics (Phoenix): 2-for-4, 3 RBI, BB, K, SB (1). Stassi's known for his plus defense behind the plate and that's what will carry him to the big leagues in a couple of years, as long as his offensive skills don't lag too far behind. That hasn't been the case in 2012. The 21 year-old flashed some power with 15 HR in 84 Cal League games and, despite sporadic playing time in the AFL, posted a .710 OPS in 48 at-bats.
Dickie Thon, SS/3B, Blue Jays (Ponce-PRBL): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K, SB (1). If his name sounds familiar, that's likely because you were a baseball fan in the 1980's when his dad, Dickie Thon, Sr., was a big league shortstop with the Astros and a few other teams. Thon's walk-off HR against the Padres on August 10, 1983 actually made me cry. OK, stop laughing. I was only eight years old and it was a devastating moment in my young life. It wasn't so much that particular HR as it was Thon's overall season against the Padres (.400 BA, 5 HR, 11 RBI in 80 at-bats). I had finally had enough. In the greatest movie of all-time, 'A Bronx Tale' with Robert Deniro, a young Colagero says that he hates Bill Mazeroskifor making Mickey Mantle cry after his World Series winning homer in 1960. Well, Thon was my Bill Mazeroski. I hated that guy. Anyways, Thon, Jr. was a 5th Round pick of the Jays in 2010 and has a .664 OPS in his first two pro seasons.
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