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It’s All In the Game: Analytics Meets Baseball

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September 12, 2019, marked an eventful evening for Rutgers MBS Analytics students when we attended the Phillies #CollegeSeries Business Analytics Night at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. The event was comprised of 3 parts: a networking hour, a panel discussion, and, of course, a baseball game featuring the Philadelphia Phillies against the Atlanta Braves. Students from several different universities attended the event.

During the networking session, we met with Phillies executives and special guests including 1993 National League Champion and Phillies ambassador, Mickey Morandini.

Figure 1: Mickey Morandini

We also met with front-office personnel from various departments and learned about their experiences working for the team.

Figure 2: Networking with the Phillies Executives

P.C: https://www.mlb.com/phillies/tickets/specials/college-series/business-analytics-night-091219

Students were encouraged to share their resumes, as a step forward in building a network with the Phillies executives. We met one recent graduate who had just received a job offer at one of the departments at Phillies. She shared her journey with us which started one year ago during this same event, shared her resume with the executives till getting an interview call and finally landing her dream job at Phillies.

There were plenty of photo opportunities, including a chance to take selfies with the 2008 and 1980 World Series trophies.

Figure 3: During a networking session, students had the opportunity to take selfies with the 2008 and 1980 World Series trophies.

The networking session was followed by a panel discussion featuring top Phillies and Major League Baseball business analytics executives including Josh Barbieri, Director of Business Analytics for the Phillies, Charles Nixon, Director of Enterprise Business & Data for Major League Baseball, and Blake Summerfield, Manager of Business Analytics for the Phillies.

Figure 4- Panel discussion with Phillies and Major League Baseball business analytics executives 

P.C:https://www.mlb.com/phillies/tickets/specials/college-series/business-analytics-night-091219

All shared how analytics is applied to baseball operations.

They discussed how data analytics has been used in sports for decades, and how methods are continuously being updated as advancements in technology are made. They emphasized how sports analysts use the same basic methods and approach as any other kind of data analyst: they establish parameters for measurement and consistently collect data from broad samples. They also explained how coaches use the collected data to maximize players’ overall fitness and performance by creating optimized exercise regimens and nutrition plans.

They provided excellent insight into their areas of business and shared their career experiences.  As well, they advised students about career opportunities at Phillies.

Finally, panelists discussed the skill sets necessary to successfully build a career in sports analytics. They focused on how important it is to include any communication courses alongside technology courses in order to build interpersonal skills.

Then, it was time for the baseball game! We got to enjoy a super-exciting match between the Phillies and the Braves. We cheered for the home team, with the Phillies defeating the Atlanta Braves, 9 to 5!

Figure 5: Phillies vs Braves match

Figure 6: It’s Baseball Time!

Author(s): 
Shreya Bagchi
Published On: 
10/31/2019