Last year we started a weekly game predictions series where the ISC-Purdue staff and a celebrity guest picker would give our predictions for the games around the Big Ten and other marquee national games.
In the second week of Big Ten action we brought in a young up and comer in the Purdue twitter community and already a start in the MLB twitter community, @MLBRandomStats aka Jeremy Frank. We got a chance to talk to the young Purdue sophomore data science major and published author about Purdue Athletics and his life in the MLB twitter community.
Q: Favorite Current Purdue Athlete, Favorite Past Purdue Athlete from, and Favorite Purdue sports moment he attended?
A: Current athlete: Rondale Moore
Past athlete: Etwaun Moore
Favorite moments: #4 Purdue beats #6 West Virginia on New Years 2010, and Purdue beating Iowa State during March Madness in 2017
Q: I understand you are a part of a sports analytics club, tell is about the club.
A: I’m vice president of Sports Analytics at Purdue. We meet every week and try to be a great place for anyone interested in sports and stats. We have stuff like guest speakers, project opportunities, trivia nights, competitions, intramural teams and watch parties
Q: What are your thoughts on analytics impact on sports? Specifically baseball (defensive shifts, bullpen usage, etc). Have we reached a peak or just scratching the surface?
A: I think analytics are probably the furthest along in baseball, but they’re catching up in the NBA and other sports. I think fans see it the most in terms of player tendencies and strategies changing (more strikeouts, more home runs, shorter pitching outings, more 3 pt attempts) but where the work is really being done nowadays is in training and development. Obviously this World Series will be most remembered for the Rays decision making but the reason they even got to the World Series was a club wide emphasis on using data. Organizations that prioritize using data have proven to be the most successful over the last decade in baseball and are primed for long term success. But I do think we are kind of nearing a peak in that over the last 20 years the sport has seen most teams go from nothing in terms of analytics to having a team devoted for it, whereas the next 20 years will likely be perfecting the things we have now but fewer new ideas than over the last 20.
Q: You were on ESPN with Jason Benetti and Jessica Mendoza. How did that come about and happen? How old were you when that happened?
A: I’m friends with Jason and during the KBO games (this spring on ESPN) they had a bunch of special guests so he asked if I wanted to come on for a couple of innings. It was earlier this year so I was 19 when that happened.
Q: How did you get so into sports statistics and what are your plans moving forward? What is the end the goal?
A: I’ve just always been a math kid growing up (obviously until Purdue math destroyed my spirits) but with baseball being my favorite sport it was really cool that they intersect as much as they do. Regarding my books, they are kind of just a natural extension of my Twitter account. Got really good at finding random stats and the books are a great way of organizing them. But like I said I am a math kid and writing a book without really enjoying writing is not easy haha, but writing about baseball stats is a lot easier than writing about a novel for me. Over the offseason I’m planning on finishing the third & final volume of my book series and I want to work for a front office with a baseball team but could also see myself working in data science for another industry.
Straight Up (Against the Spread)
Dave: 9-1 (8-2)
Corey: 8-2 (6-4)
Kobie: 6-4 (3-7)
Ben: 9 -1 (5-5)
Tommy: 7-3 (6-4)