In what is becoming an annual event, the Houston Astros have dipped, yet again, into the Baseball Prospectus talent pool and hired Colin Wyers. Apparently, the Astros are pleased with the production they've received out of Analyst Mike Fast and Pro Scouting Coordinator Kevin Goldstein, both of which previously worked for Baseball Prospectus, that they've decided to Wyers as a "mathematical modeler in the Decision Sciences department:"
But explanatory models aren’t just useful in prediction. They are also useful in, well, explaining things. Explanatory models are how we learn new things about baseball, and they’re how we can communicate what we’ve learned about baseball to a larger audience. Nobody would ever dream of creating an explanatory model without any thought for how well it predicts, but sadly the converse doesn’t seem to be true. The most powerful models do both.
I’m talking a lot about models because I have some news to share with y’all. I am excited and a little sad to tell you that I’ve been hired by the Houston Astros as a mathematical modeler in their Decision Sciences department. Now, I’m sure you have a lot of questions, and I’ll start with the most important one first: no, I will not be wearing a lab coat and goggles, as much as I might want to. I’m sorry to disappoint all of you.
I'll be honest, I haven't read a lot of Wyers stuff, but from what I have read and heard he is a very smart individual. He also from his goodbye post on Baseball Prospectus appears to deal a lot with probability. And he addressed the Forbes article that said the Astros were the most profitable team in history. The other topics he's covered on Baseball Prospectus include: PECOTA, WARP, Biogenesis, motion tracking, stuff Jon Heyman says and many others. I'm sure many of our readers more familiar with his work can provide commentary on what this means for the Astros, but I think the take way here is that Jeff Luhnow and the Astros have found an off-the-field market inefficiency that they intend to exploit.
You can follow Colin Wyers on Twitter at @cwyers.
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