Two weeks ago, we did an episode on women working in baseball analytics – Emily Curtis and Kiri Oler. This week, we turn our attention to people of color working in this field. Mark Simon (@MarkASimonSays) talked to 3 of them – Javier Duren (@JD_Fresh20) of the Cardinals, Spencer Weisberg of the Mariners, and Karim Kassam (@professormullet) of the Twins.
Javier, in his third year with the Cardinals, explained how he went from graduating Yale to playing basketball professionally, to his current role as the Cardinals coordinator of technology and innovation. He shared stories from his basketball career, including what he takes from that to both watching baseball and to his current job. He explained what his role entails and what a typical day is like. He also gave advice to members of the African-American community who aspire to work in analytics and/or become athletes. (0:43)
Spencer, in his second year with the Mariners after graduating from Cal State-San Luis Obispo, explained his path to becoming a baseball analyst. He discussed his role with the team, his interactions with the front office and coaching staff, and the work he’s specialized in. He also talked about what intrigued him about defensive metrics. Lastly he offered advice to others seeking to break into the baseball world as he did. (15:52)
Karim, the Twins director of baseball research, shared the story of his career path, which includes stops as a college professor, at a movie studio, and with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He talked about what’s surprised him in his first year on the job, how other sports influenced him, what he finds most interesting to watch in baseball, which pro athlete he’s most enjoyed working with, and what advice he has for others who want to work in his position. (34:04)
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