The Worldwide Leader unveiled a rather cool feature yesterday, The Great Analytics Rankings, sorting all 122 NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams by “the strength of each franchise’s analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data and how much its approach is predicated on analytics.” I don’t know what biometric data is, but this is interesting nonetheless, at least as it pertains to our favorite teams.
We’ll start with the good. The Nats and O’s are both labeled as “believers,” meaning they rank somewhere in the top half among MLB teams. For the O’s, it’s thanks to “GM Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter and pitching coordinator Rick Peterson, all of whom are respected for their analytical thinking,” though “they need a more coherent, holistic approach and a stronger investment to compete with division rivals Tampa Bay, Boston and New York.”
The Nats breakdown is more straightforward:
“GM Mike Rizzo is a former scout who respects analytics and listens to input from his staff. When it comes to what the numbers have to say, assistant GM Adam Cromie and director of baseball R&D Sam Mondry-Cohen make sure of that.”
The Caps also get a “believers” tag, ranking in the top half of the NHL. “First-year GM Brian MacLellan appears to favor an evolution toward using as much data as possible in his decision-making,” and he’s joined in the front office by hockey quants Vic Ferrari and Don Fishman.
The Wizards, on the other hand, are “skeptics,” ranking in the bottom third of the NBA. Most of it comes down to Randy Wittman and his tendency to prefer long two-pointers to the three-ball.
And then there are the Redskins. The Skins get slapped with the “nonbelievers” tag and rank 120th overall out of 122 teams. This says it all, unfortunately:
“The Redskins were named by source after source as the NFL team with the least interest in using analytics in football operations.”
The hope is that that changes with new GM Scot McCloughan, but, as ESPN so kindly points out, the Redskins have “no full-time employee devoted to analytics.”