Hoornstra: Entrepreneurs emerging from baseball’s analytic curtain offer a peek at what’s next

From J.P. Hoornstra at the Orange County Register on December 18, 2019:

Team photo day at Dodger Stadium requires time and space. One afternoon each year, all the players and coaches walk from the clubhouse to left field. They climb a series of portable bleacher seats to assemble a sea of white, outnumbered by rows of non-uniformed staff. A team photographer ascends a tall ladder. Several photos are snapped. The process lasts about 90 minutes from set-up to tear-down.

Wednesday was team photo day at Zelus Analytics in Austin, Texas, where president Doug Fearing and his seven full-time employees were quickly on to bigger and better things. In Culver City, Reboot Motion co-founder and CEO Jimmy Buffi hasn’t even scheduled a photo day yet. His company has barely existed for a month. It consists of two employees: co-founder Evan Demchick and Buffi, whose commute now spans the length of his bedroom.

Fearing and Buffi recently comprised 10 percent of the Dodgers’ research and development team. A year ago, Fearing left to launch his own startup analytics firm. Buffi did the same after the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs in October. Their exits from baseball did not shake the industry. They occurred in relative darkness next to those of two former general managers – Ned Colletti became a pro scout for the NHL’s San Jose Sharks in September, and Paul DePodesta has been the Cleveland Browns’ chief strategy officer since 2016.

Read the full article here: https://www.ocregister.com/2019/12/18/hoornstra-entrepreneurs-emerging-from-baseballs-analytic-curtain-offer-a-peek-at-whats-next/

Originally published: December 30, 2019. Last Updated: December 30, 2019.