The Royals’ director of analytics has left the organization to take a job with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Mike Groopman, who recently concluded his 10th year in Kansas City and presided over the expansion of the club’s analytics department, will take on a role in international scouting with the Brewers, Royals general manager Dayton Moore confirmed on Monday.
Moore said he was disappointed to lose Groopman, who was promoted to his current role in 2015. The Brewers, however, were able to offer a role that was not possible in Kansas City.
The loss of Groopman represented just one front office move Monday as the Royals’ brain trust arrived at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando for the start of the annual general managers’ meetings.
Moore also confirmed that the Royals have hired Albert Gonzalez from the Miami Marlins to serve as assistant general manager for international operations. Gonzalez previously worked for the Royals for 13 years before taking a job with his hometown Marlins in 2006. He will work under Rene Francisco, the club’s vice president of international operations, and oversee the day-to-day aspects of the department.
Moore said the departure of Groopman could spur a restructuring of the club’s analytics department, which expanded in the years before the Royals made consecutive World Series and has continued to add bodies and resources in the last two seasons. The club will likely fill Groopman’s role internally, Moore said, but he would like the department to continue emphasizing research and development while becoming further integrated into the rest of the baseball operations department.
Groopman, a graduate of Columbia University, joined the Royals’ front office as a baseball operations assistant in 2009 after serving as an intern the previous season. In the ensuing years, he worked alongside John Williams, an MIT graduate, as the club invested more into research and analytics. In time, the group grew from a small unit to a collection of minds dedicated to data, research science and development. The club retains two directors of analytics who worked below Groopman: Williams and Daniel Mack, a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt who is entering his sixth season with the team.