MLB Membership Spotlight: Will Vandenberg

As Major League spring training is coming to a close, we wanted to highlight a member of ABBS who also works in the MLB. To start off this membership spotlight, here is a quote from Will on how spring training has been going.

“Spring training has been unusual this year for sure. In a normal year I spend all of spring training at our facility in Arizona, but this year, given the reduced numbers in camp, our Performance Science team has had to split who’s in person and who’s remote, so I am working from home during major league camp and will be heading down to AZ at the end of the month for minor league camp. I’m looking forward to seeing all of our coaches and players and live baseball for the first time in over a year. Despite most of us being remote during major league camp, it has been really productive. Those of us that are remote have been doing a lot of the computer work, research, and data analysis while our teammates that are in person are having the conversations with the coaches and delivering that information. We’ve also been able to have a lot of the meetings that are normally in person over zoom for the people not in AZ”.

Will grew up in New York and currently works for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a Research Scientist. In his role as a Research Scientist he analyzes biomechanical data to improve player performance of major league and minor league players. He is interested in biomechanics because the body is the perfect machine. He finds it fascinating to analyze how everything is connected and how the laws of physics govern the movement of the body. Wil has always loved baseball, so being able to apply biomechanics to baseball has been the perfect combination of his two passions. The nature of the game also creates two very discrete and specific movements, the pitch and the swing, that are perfect for biomechanical analysis.

His favorite place to travel is Italy and his favorite food is pasta. If he could cook anything, it would be meatballs. His favorite move is V for Vendetta and if he could have any animal as a pet, it would be a dog. His favorite holiday is Christmas. When given the opportunity to have any superpower, Will would choose teleportation. Even in a post COVID world, you would be able to live wherever and still work anywhere! Outside of baseball, Wil likes music. He even got a turn table during quarantine and he has been enjoying the ability to build out his record collection.

Will would like to leave us all with this message, “Just because something is statistically significant does not mean that it is real world significant. And question everything, not everything that applies to other sports applies perfectly to baseball. Other sports can provide ideas and directions to investigate, but things do not translate perfectly from one sport to another”.

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