The players on the field are not the only ones who contribute to a baseball team’s successes or failures. For example, the popular book and film Moneyball has showcased how analytics professionals’ role can also play a major role in determining how a team performs throughout a season.
This trend has yielded a rise in the availability of baseball analytics jobs in recent years. These opportunities might appeal to you if you’re a detail-oriented baseball fan who’s very good with numbers.
That said, you might understandably have some questions about jobs in baseball analytics. What do MLB analytics jobs involve? How much money do baseball analytics experts make? How do I get this type of job?
Keep reading to learn more. The following overview will cover your basic questions.
The specific way in which a team uses data analysts can vary on a case-by-case basis. In the real-life story that inspired Moneyball, the Oakland Athletics focused primarily on studying the on-base percentages of various players to select team members. Even though this sometimes resulted in what appeared to be unorthodox decisions initially, the method proved successful, and many other teams began to rely more heavily on analytics as a result.
In general, the role of analytics in baseball involves collecting various relevant statistics (on-base percentages being only one example) and analyzing them to draw conclusions that can aid in a team’s decision-making. Additionally, some baseball analytics jobs may involve helping teams optimize their budgets or providing insights during and after sports broadcasts.
- Graduate Assistant Coach- Baseball
Collegiate Sports Administration - Central Region
- Assistant Coach, Baseball
College Coaching - Southeast Region
- Head Coach Baseball - Game Operations Manager
College Coaching - Northeast Region
- Baseball Freshman Head Coach (Monroe, NC)
High School Coaching - Southeast Region
How to Get a Job In Baseball Analytics
There’s no one way to get this type of baseball job. That said, you should have some basic qualifications that will significantly improve your chances of making the right impression on potential employers.
A bachelor’s degree in math, computer science, economics, or a similar subject is typically a prerequisite. You need to show teams considering hiring you that you have the general expertise necessary to succeed in this type of MLB job. You can also supplement your bachelor’s degree by getting a sports management degree or certification, which will help you stand out from other people vying for the same jobs by indicating that you’re specifically passionate about sports.
Before getting your first baseball analytics job, you might also take some additional steps to develop your skills and show that you understand how to analyze baseball statistics in practical and useful ways. For example, you could contribute stories to sports publications or write your own blog in which you specifically describe how your analysis of certain statistics has led you to draw conclusions about a team’s prospects, how a team can improve their performance, and more.
Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to start with a low-level baseball analytics job at a university or with a minor league team. While most baseball analytics jobs involve working for the MLB, some non-MLB teams have also begun leveraging data analysis.
Keep in mind that you may need to be patient when striving towards your dream career. If you need a job but aren’t having much success landing one in baseball right away, you can instead start working in other sectors and industries. As long as your work involves substantial data analysis, even if you started working for a law firm or investment firm at first, you could later transition to an MLB job after getting a few years of experience elsewhere.
- Sports Performance Assistant
Collegiate Sports Administration - West Region
- Instructor of Television Sports Production
Sports Media - Southeast Region
- Graduate Assistant - Broadcasting/Sports Communication
Sports Technology - Central Region
- Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance
Collegiate Sports Administration - Central Region
Salaries: How Much Will You Make?
The usage of analytics to a substantial degree in baseball is a fairly new development. There isn’t much historical data to draw on when determining how much the typical baseball analytics job pays. That said, the information we do have indicates this can be a reasonably lucrative career, with salaries often reaching the low six figures. Baseball data analysis specialists often deliver significant value to a team. They may be compensated accordingly.
Of course, your primary goal as you begin working towards a career in baseball analytics is to genuinely develop the skills and expertise you’ll need to deliver that same level of value. Work hard to perform well in your classes, look for any jobs that involve data analysis, and consider making data analysis a natural part of the way you enjoy watching and thinking about baseball. With hard work and dedication, you could certainly one day have what’s increasingly becoming one of the most important behind-the-scenes jobs in this sport.