Director, Research & Development, Houston Astros
Sarah Gelles joined the Houston Astros in November 2018 and was promoted to Director of Research and Development in December 2019. In this role, she leads a growing R&D team that is central to the Astros’ data-driven approach.
Prior to joining the Astros, she served for three years as the Director of Analytics & Major League Contracts for the Baltimore Orioles. In that role, she oversaw the club’s Analytics department, handled Major League roster management and rules compliance, and assisted the General Manager with player acquisitions and contract negotiations.
Gelles, 32, began her career with the Orioles as a Baseball Operations intern in 2011 and served as Coordinator of Baseball Analytics from 2012-14. During that time, she built out the club’s internal database infrastructure and oversaw an expansion of the use of data and analytics across Baseball Operations. She was promoted to Director of Baseball Analytics in 2014. Before arriving at the Orioles, Gelles worked for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and MLB’s Labor Relations Department.
A 2010 summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, Gelles now resides in Houston with her husband Jonathan.
This panel aims to examine the fine line between when to make managerial decisions on gut feel, versus when to stick to the data. Did the 2020 World Series serve as a catalyst for changes to the game going forward, or will managers shrug off pressure from the media?
Co-Founder, Managing Director MIT Sports Lab
Chief Scientist, Stats Perform
Co-founder, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment
Table Tennis Olympian
Publisher & Executive Editor, Sports Business Journal, Sports Business Daily/Global