Eve Rosenbaum is enjoying a homecoming of sorts with the Baltimore Orioles.
Rosenbaum, a Bethesda, Md., native and a Harvard graduate, was recently named the club’s new director of baseball development by general manager Mike Elias. Rosenbaum will oversee the alignment of strategies across baseball operations and enhance coordination between the club’s scouting, player development and analytics departments.
“It’s very exciting. For me personally, I grew up going to Orioles games,” said Rosenbaum, who also played four years of softball at Harvard. “I grew up 45 minutes to an hour from Baltimore. I lived through the Cal Ripken days and the years in the 1990s when the Orioles were going to the playoffs. For me to try and bring that back to Baltimore and bring that back to the team I grew up watching is just a cool, humbling feeling to actually be driving this team forward. You see the results on the field and you know whether or not it’s working.”
Rosenbaum joins the Orioles from Houston, where she spent the previous five seasons. During her time with the Astros, she helped head up the club’s international baseball operations and most recently was the manager of international scouting. She first crossed paths with Mike Elias, assistant general manager Sig Mejdal and director of pitching Chris Holt in Houston, so it’s been almost a seamless transition in Baltimore.
“I always got along with them really well,” she said. “I thought they were really insightful. Good collaborators. Good people to work with. They were always curious about new ideas in baseball and sharing ideas with people and getting good feedback from people. It was a huge part of it, the familiarity aspect. There’s also the idea of they’re a rebuilding team and getting the opportunity to build something almost from scratch. It seems like a rare opportunity in baseball.”
Elias has admitted the Orioles still have a lot of work ahead of them in terms of further developing the organization’s digital infrastructure for scouting, player development and player evaluation. Rosenbaum will play a key role in that process, which helps personnel throughout the organization evaluate players.
“I think it’s just having tools when you log onto our internal database as a scout, a GM or any other member of the front office, you can quickly pull up a summary of every player, regardless of the market,” Rosenbaum said. “Whether it’s in the pro market, international market or draft, you can very quickly pull up a summary of the player. You can easily compare players on key stats, any sort of team metrics or any biographic information someone deems important.”
The Orioles will have an array of statistics available to accurately gauge a player’s performance. This should eventually put the club on the cutting edge among all MLB franchises, and ideally, help Elias continue to build the foundation for a team that can annually compete for a spot in the postseason.
“You can also keep track of how players are progressing,” Rosenbaum said about improved digital infrastructure. “If it’s a pro player, you can keep track of how they’re progressing throughout the season, you can look at graphs, you can change dates on whatever you want to see. For international or amateur players, you are seeing them in person and then you go an amount of time without seeing them, you will be able to very clearly see how the players are progressing over the amount of time we are scouting them.
“You have that all on a really nice dashboard with good visuals and good dropdowns with things you can change and edit. That’s where I see us going.”
Analytics, however, continues to be a moving target because of how quickly the available data evolves. Mejdal has already played a critical role putting the Orioles on the proper path. He has put together a talented staff to support this strategy, which had been traditionally overlooked by the club.
“On the one hand, analytics is evolving at sort of a stupendous rate,” Rosenbaum said. “But we’re very fortunate that we have Sig, who has been around baseball analytics for a long time. He also takes a very pragmatic view of things and he’s brought in all of these really good analysts over the past year. We have this really smart in-house team of analysts who are cranking out their own ideas and following the new developments.”
There are also numerous ways to gather information, and the Orioles want to make sure they are taking advantage of all of their resources. Sometimes that entails looking outside the traditional ways to gather information.
“There’s so much research being down at these universities — and by independent bloggers and people posting on Twitter — in addition to physicists, engineers and chemists who have this interest in baseball and they’re constantly publishing,” Rosenbaum said. “So, there’s a lot to keep up with. We’re fortunate we have a lot of people in-house who are coming up with their own ideas and follow what’s going on in the outside world.
“So, there’s a balance of constantly trying to keep up and stay on the cutting edge. At the same, time, we’re really evaluating our methods and making sure we trust the research we are relying on.”
One of Rosenbaum’s initial goals is to spend time getting to know the Orioles’ staffers and players. From there, she will be able to get a sense of everyone’s skill set and their strengths.
“The big thing this year for me is learning a lot from our players and coaches because we have so many new coaches in the system,” she said. “There’s so many new ideas in terms of technology we can use and new coaching methodologies we can use. I just want to learn from them and see what’s working out on the field and what’s not working. I can then send that information back out to our scouts in all of the markets. Here is a sort of a working theory that we have and have seen at our own affiliates. Let’s see how that can impact the type of players we acquire.”
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles