This was noted in Tom Tango’s post about consulting with the Cubs (actually, it was the main thrust of his post, but, for our purposes here, they’re really two separate things), so you may have already seen it if you clicked through. If you did not, the Chicago Cubs are hiring a super genius as “Director of Research and Development.”
The job posting (you can apply at that link):
This role will be responsible for developing and overseeing the research and analytics function within Baseball Operations, reporting to the Assistant GM.
- Perform advanced statistical analysis on large volumes of baseball-related data and implement predictive models to aid in decision-making.
- Develop and manage a talented staff (developers, analysts, and consultants) by identifying strong candidates, prioritizing work flows, supervising projects and providing productive feedback.
- Present high-level analysis in an effective and articulate manner through the use of written reports, charts, tables, graphics, and other tools that enhance the Department’s decision-making process.
- Develop and maintain proprietary projections model for future performance.
- Monitor, identify and recommend new or emerging techniques, technologies, models and algorithms applicable to internal processes.
- Analyze internal baseball processes in order to develop functional requirements (specifications) for outside vendors and application developers, including requirements, system impact, data flow diagrams, special considerations, etc.
- Identify technologies that offer potential value to the organization through meetings with vendors and providers.
- Oversee the departmental budget associated with R&D spending.
- Contribute to baseball decisions and proactively generate ideas for player acquisition and player usage.
- Other projects as directed the Baseball Operations leadership team.
- Advanced degree or equivalent experience in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative field.
- Demonstrated project management, problem-solving, and teaching abilities.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate difficult and complex concepts at an appropriate level to colleagues possessing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
- Demonstrated expert-level knowledge (of at least 5 years) with baseball-specific data, modern statistical techniques, and sabermetric analysis.
- Demonstrated expertise with R, STATA, SPSS, SAS, or similar software.
- Demonstrated expertise with SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle, database administration/structuring, data warehousing and data modeling.
- Knowledge and demonstrated ability in the areas of programming, software-coding, ETL, and/or machine learning techniques.
A few things that jump out at me: (1) the position reports to “the Assistant GM,” but the Cubs have two Assistant GMs – Randy Bush and Shiraz Rehman – and I found the wording there odd. It’s probably nothing, and I’m assuming all it means is that the position will report to one of the two AGMs, probably Rehman; (2) I saw the posting on Baseball Prospectus, as the Cubs had specifically asked BP to post it. I love it: the Cubs are explicitly looking outside the usual “in” baseball world to find the best statistically-inclined person for the job. They’re open to anyone; (3) But that “anyone” has to be a super genius of the highest order.