On Monday, the Royals announced the retirement of assistant general manager Dean Taylor. Thus set off a chain reaction of new titles for some familiar faces across the front office.
The Star has the changes in full, but from their post, here’s a list of the new titles.
▪ J.J. Picollo has been elevated to vice president and assistant general manager for player personnel.
▪ Rene Francisco to vice president and assistant general manager for major-league and international operations.
▪ Scott Sharp to assistant general manager for baseball operations
▪ Jin Wong to assistant general manager for baseball administration
▪ Chino Cadahia to senior coordinator for player development
▪ Kyle Vena to director of baseball administration
▪ Ronnie Richardson to director of minor-league operations
▪ Mike Groopman to director of baseball operations for analytics
▪ John Williams to director of baseball analytics for player personnel
▪ Daniel Mack to director of baseball analytics for research science
▪ Chris Getz to baseball operations assistant for player development
▪ Phillip Stringer to baseball operations assistant
▪ Nick Relic to minor-league video coordinator
Forgive the cut and paste, but with so many names, it just seemed easier.
Up at the top, the roles haven’t changed. Just the titles. Picollo and Francisco added a vice presidency. Wong and Sharp get new business cards with “assistant general manager” (as opposed to “assistant to the general manager”).
If you have a sabermetric bent, the names of interest are Mike Groopman, who was formerly the director of baseball analytics and is now the director of baseball operations for analytics. John Williams, who was the assistant director of baseball analytics has been elevated to director of baseball analytics for player personnel. Daniel Mack was an analyst and is now a director of baseball analytics for research science.
Those three have appeared at Baseball Prospectus day at The K for the last couple of seasons. I know it’s cool to knock the Royals for their seeming distaste for analytics, but they’ve beefed up that department the last couple of years. If I’m not mistaken, about four years ago it was Groopman, Williams and a couple of interns. The department now includes at least six guys, maybe more. And they’re all smarter than you.
This collection knows their way around a database. At least that’s what they tell me. I have no idea how to get around a database. It looks to me like this restructuring is probably leading to more money and a larger staff than was employed last summer. If you have the opportunity to talk to any of those guys, they won’t tell you anything about what they’re doing. We should have had atomic scientists so secretive. But more voices in that department should be a good thing. Also, I had the briefest opportunity to say hello to Groopman prior to the Wild Card game and it was just great to see the enthusiasm and happiness he was experiencing at that moment. Good for him and good for his department. And hopefully, good for the fans as they figure out new inefficiencies to help keep the Royals relevant.
Further good news is that Taylor will remain associated with the Royals as a consultant. He’s an administrative wizard, with extensive knowledge of the rules governing teams and players. I’m sure he’s helped Dayton and the brain trust find a loophole or two to exploit over the years. His consul is undoubtedly valuable to Dayton and it will remain so.
Oh, and Chris Getz got a job.