Phillies Hire Ex-YouTube Analyst, 30, for Front Office Analytics Gig
Perhaps the Phillies can Rickroll their opponents to distract them next season.
Okay, maybe not. But today the team announced it had hired 30-year-old Andy Galdi to oversee the team’s baseball analytics office, per a release from the team, “including data visualization and reporting, statistical research, and data infrastructure.” Galdi’s last stop before coming to the Phillies was as an analyst for Google’s YouTube.
Will he be any good? Who knows! He’s only had two previous baseball jobs; one with the Cardinals on a freelance basis in 2012, and an internship with the Mets in 2009. Per his LinkedIn, Galdi “investigated the statistical validity of various contractual and game strategies including when to pay over slot for drafted players and when to sacrifice bunt” during his time with the Mets.
Will we hear about this guy at all? Probably not! Even if he is delivering statistical scouting reports to Pete Mackanin and telling him when to bunt, it seems like he’s going to be a behind-the-scenes guy.
Here’s what’s promising about the hire: It shows the Phillies really are committed to maximizing all possible analysis in order to help the team win. The Phillies famously relied on 7-year-old scouting reports before signing Delmon Young for the 2013 season. Young was coming off a campaign where he was the 2012 ALCS MVP, and Ruben Amaro thought he could help push the Phillies back to the playoffs.
Amaro operated, it seemed, mostly on scouting reports and his gut on what made a good ballplayer. This had some successes, obviously. He was GM when the Phillies had three of their finest seasons ever, from 2009 to 2011. He had an eye for talent at times. But he also did things like signing Young based on old scouting reports.
The Phillies new GM, Matt Klentak, said he wants the Phillies to use all the info at their disposal: “We want to be the best at everything that we do. We want to have the best scouts in the field, the best coaches … we will use every form of technology and information available to use. How we manage that will be the key. We want to take all the information from different people … if we have the best information we will make the best decisions.”
Adding Galdi, who was at a different division of Google before joining YouTube six months ago, is part of that. While with the NBA, he “[d]eveloped a Monte Carlo simulation of basketball to test the impact of potential rule changes on factors such as scoring, game time, and game competitiveness.” At Groupon, Galdi “[c]reated an algorithm that determined a merchant’s relative quality while minimizing the number of comparisons necessary to accurately rank thousands of merchants.”
These have little to do with baseball. But they show someone who’s experienced at analyzing data in different ways. Phillies fans have to hope that translates into top-notch proprietary information analysis for the team.
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