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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

MLB: Astros add two to baseball operations staff

Astroland: A Team’s Obsessive Bid to Win the World’s Most Ruthless Baseball League!

The Astros have hired Sig Mejdal as Director of Decision Sciences and Stephanie Wilka as Coordinator of Amateur Scouting, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

Mejdal, 46, had worked with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2005, most recently as Director, Amateur Draft Analytics. While with the Cardinals, he was involved with modeling, analysis and data-driven decision making throughout all levels of the organization and was a key contributor in the draft decision processes that led to more Major League players than any other organization during that time frame.

Mejdal earned two engineering degrees at the University of California at Davis and later completed advanced degrees in Operations Research and Cognitive Psychology/Human Factors. He has also worked at Lockheed Martin in California and for NASA. Mejdal has been active in baseball statistics and analytics since earning his membership in The Society for Baseball Research (SABR) while in grade school.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, business, media, projections, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4028231)
Director of Decision Sciences? What is this, NASA?
   2. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4028232)
No surprise about Mejdal, but Wilka seems like an interesting hire. A quick Google search has her working in tenant relations for a real estate company, after prior non-baseball operations stints with the Red Sox and Dodgers. Same links have her passing the California Bar Exam in July 2011 after attending Pepperdine's School of Law, so this seems like a quick career switch.
   3. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: January 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4028253)
It appears that Wilka also served as the executive director for the Dodgers charity from March 2009-June 2010, earning $85K a year. While also going to law school at the same time.

I'm wondering who Wilka is related to/knows.
   4. salvomania Posted: January 03, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4028266)
Looks like the Birds are losing (to the Astros) the brains behind their recent drafts, which have led to a packed system that just a few years ago ranked near the bottom in baseball.

Curious to see whether it was the people, or the "organization," that made the difference.
   5. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4028302)
Mejdal's only 46? FOr some reason I pictured him as lolder than that after reading Fantasyland.
   6. Sean Forman Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4028320)
I happen to have heard that the Astros are looking for some folks with some serious DB chops if anyone here is interested you might want to send along your resume.
   7. MM1f Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4028361)
No surprise about Mejdal, but Wilka seems like an interesting hire. A quick Google search has her working in tenant relations for a real estate company, after prior non-baseball operations stints with the Red Sox and Dodgers. Same links have her passing the California Bar Exam in July 2011 after attending Pepperdine's School of Law, so this seems like a quick career switch.


Google shows that Wilka was also a cheerleader at Harvard.
   8. philly Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4028368)
So does this mean Law isn't getting a job with the Astros?
   9. Something Other Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4028370)
I happen to have heard that the Astros are looking for some folks with some serious DB chops if anyone here is interested you might want to send along your resume.
So, I'm guessing that not knowing what "DB" stands for rules me out.
   10. Bhaakon Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4028373)
I assumed it was short for "Delta Burke." Luhnow needs someone to transfer his VHS collection of Designing Women to blue ray.

So of course I shot him my CV.
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4028386)
So, I'm guessing that not knowing what "DB" stands for rules me out.


Douglas Bader. As a Wing Commander, he was entitled to put his initials on his Spitfire instead of the usual squadron code.
   12. Jittery McFrog Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4028393)
So, I'm guessing that not knowing what "DB" stands for rules me out.


Derek Bell. They're considering a plan called 'Operation Shutdown II'

   13. Walt Davis Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4028395)
Doobie Brothers ... see Bill James thread. (Actually I don't think the Doobies have been mentioned. Or the at-least defensible Allman Brothers. Hey, Lynyrd Skynyrd has gotten some shout outs so AB should qualify.
   14. Something Other Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4028397)
"at-least defensible Allman Brothers"? Sheesh. Who's your replacement level bluesman--Howlin' Wolf?
   15. HOLLA(R) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:31 AM (#4028430)
dB? Stands for decibels.
   16. MM1f Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:37 AM (#4028432)
I happen to have heard that the Astros are looking for some folks with some serious DB chops if anyone here is interested you might want to send along your resume.


I don't think Chris Stamey is doing much these days.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4028434)
I don't think Chris Stamey is doing much these days.

Still doing a lot of producing and putting out the occasional album. Did one with Yo La Tengo backing him a few years back.

"at-least defensible Allman Brothers"?

Well the "debate" started off as "greatest rock'n'roll song ever", the greatest "rock'n'roll" band with concomitant debates about whether a given group was sufficiently "rock'n'roll". The ABs run the risk of not being "rock'n'roll" but are at least defensible given the wide range of names tossed up in the thread.
   18. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 04, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4028441)
It's hard to guess all of someone's responsibilities just from their job title but Coordinator of Amateur Scouting sounds like it might be a purely administrative job, taking care of all the logistics, scheduling, etc. involved with their scouting department covering the country and seeing as many players as possible. So even though it's her first baseball ops job it may not be that different in skills and knowledge required from her previous stints with teams.
   19. Ron J Posted: January 04, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4028449)
#9 I assumed it meant Dead Body.
   20. Tricky Dick Posted: January 04, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4028467)
So does this mean Law isn't getting a job with the Astros?


The amateur scouting coordinator position is distinctly different from the scouting director position in the organization. I don't know if Law is still in the running for a job in the Astros' organization, but these hirings don't seem to bear on that question.
   21. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4028536)
#9 I assumed it meant Dead Body.


Or Dead Boys. I've had their two studio LPs since they were new, but I'm not even gonna bother applying, because no doubt Repoz could trump me by recounting how he not only saw them live dozens of times but also slept with everyone in the band. At the same time.
   22. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4028541)
Double post, dammit.
   23. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4028627)
Double post, dammit.


Double post is 'dp' not 'db'.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4028670)
I assumed it was short for "Delta Burke." Luhnow needs someone to transfer his VHS collection of Designing Women to blue ray.

So of course I shot him my CV.


And by CV I assume you mean Caged Vole, but I'm not sure how blasting the poor bugger with a firearm will impress Luhnow.
   25. just plain joe Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4028685)
Doobie Brothers ... see Bill James thread


Sometime back in the seventies I went to a Doobie Brothers concert that had to be the loudest show (out of hundreds) that I ever attended. There was so much sound being driven through the speakers that smoke was being blown back from the stage. I could not hear properly for two or three days after the show. Ah the days of being young and stupid, I have the tinnitus to prove it.
   26. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4028714)
Double post is 'dp' not 'db'.

And God help the Astros if they're looking for someone with DP experience.
   27. Something Other Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4028800)
I'm so glad I asked :)

Given their owner and budget, someone with DP experience is probably EXACTLY what the Astros need.
   28. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4028812)
And God help the Astros if they're looking for someone with DP experience.


Clank Lee has grounded into 85 of them during his Astros career, so if they want to make an internal hire...
   29. Hysterical & Useless Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4029957)
Kudos to Sean F and Something O for setting up a great string of one-liners.
   30. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4029982)
Sig's a great guy. It's not a huge surprise that he's following Luhnow to Houston.

As has been noted before, someone with serious DB chops is likely to earn far more working in industry than he is working for a baseball team; you pretty much have to *really* like baseball to go that route.

-- MWE

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