ESPN released their “Great Analytics Rankings” last week, placing the Houston Astros second behind the Philadelphia 76ers as the most analytically-minded pro sports organization. In their profile of the Astros, ESPN speculated that the Astros were the mystery MLB team that purchased a Cray supercomputer last year, but the company responded on their blog this week that the team that bought it won more games than the Astros, declining to what team purchased for confidentiality reasons.
Nick Davis, PR manager for Cray, wrote on their blog, “While I’m not going tell you here who the team is, I can tell you that it’s not the Astros. We think it’s great the Astros are ‘all-in’ on analytics according to ESPN, but unfortunately they are not all in with Cray. At least, not yet. I will say this — we applaud the Astros for their adoption of analytics, but the team with a Cray won more games last year.
According to The Economist, 95 percent of all MLB data has been created in the last five years. With MLB’s award winning Statcast system projected to be installed at all 30 MLB parks, this kind of computing power may become necessity for analytics departments to process mountains of data quickly.
For any sleuths out there trying to find the mystery team, Pete Ungaro, Cray’s CEO, said that the team who purchased the supercomputer is an organisation that five years ago people would not have guessed would want one.