Sports Analyst Mackenzie Mangos, Syracuse Class of ’22, is the Founder of the Sport Analytics Women Club and will join the New York Yankees as a Quantitative Analysis Associate upon graduation.
When it came to making the most of her education at Syracuse University, Mackenzie Mangos threw it out of the ballpark. A sports analytics major at Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Mackenzie took full advantage of the program’s opportunities, focused on her goal of serving in Major League Baseball, and landed her dream job.
After graduating in May, she will join the New York Yankees as a quantitative analysis associate in the baseball operations division. What more could a devoted Yankees fan ask for – especially one from a Bronx Bombers-loving family with a dog named Jeter?
“I figured I’d work for a company or a consultant before I even got a job in baseball — let alone player analysis with the Yankees,” she says. “It worked great!”
Mangos shares her passion for baseball and statistics with sports management professor Rodney Paul, who founded the sports analysis program and serves as its director.
When Mangos reports to Yankee Stadium, she’s ready to go. She completed her degree requirements in three years, completed minors in economics and information management and technology to supplement her major, participated in baseball pitfalls and distinguished internships, and published research. She has also been named class marshal of Falk College 2022, a role in which she will deliver a speech at the college’s convocation and guide the Falk graduates at the inauguration.
By combining her passions for sports and statistics, Mangos has blazed a trail that can serve as a role model for other young women in the male-dominated, multi-billion dollar industry. Becoming one of three sports analytics majors early in the program, she founded the student organization Sport Analytics Women (SAW) in Fall 2020 to bring together female students with common interests and increase opportunities for research projects and professional development. “Mackenzie’s impact on our program and the university will be felt for years after she graduates,” says Jeremy Losak ’16, assistant professor of sports management. “She was a champion of women in sports and sports analysis.”
As SAW president, Mangos grew the club’s membership from five to about 20 members and says this role has impacted her personal development. “The Sport Analytics Women Club has helped me tremendously in communicating with different audiences and being confident in front of a large group of people,” she says. “It was very rewarding to see the club really take off.”
Among her awards, Mangos was selected as a Berlin Scholar, an award that awards a scholarship, research experience with a faculty mentor, and other achievements to outstanding seniors in sports analysis. Last summer she served as a teaching assistant for Falk’s Berlin Sport Analytics Academy, leading activities for high school students interested in sports analysis. She also worked as a research associate for Losak and appreciated his mentoring and collaboration with him on projects including one examining the impact of college conference TV networks on fan attendance at football and basketball games. The first part of her research, focused on soccer, was published in the Journal of Economics and Finance. “Mackenzie was an integral part of my research team, leading data collection and creating presentation-quality visualizations,” he says. “She is a pioneer in sports analysis and a future professional superstar. Her upcoming role with the New York Yankees is just the beginning.”
Mangos was a triple athlete in high school in Williamson, New York, and captained the university’s football, basketball, and softball teams. Softball was her favorite and as a catcher she worked with a pitcher who threw 10 different pitches, a challenging task that led her to think about pitching patterns and batter history. “I knew that combining my passion for sports and math would make for a really cool career,” she says. “When I came across the sports analysis program in Syracuse, it was clear that this was what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go.”
good call Once on campus, Mangos followed her game plan. She joined the Baseball Statistics and Sabermetrics Club and competed with fellow Syracuse students in the Society for American Baseball Research’s (SABR) Diamond Dollars Case Competitions, which challenge college teams to assess baseball’s operations problems within a week, in data dive in and offer solutions. “The SABR competitions are a great experience to apply everything we learn in class to something with a real feel,” she says. This spring’s SABR competition asked teams for ideas on how to shorten the game of baseball, which goes against the philosophy of many baseball enthusiasts. “Most of us are baseball traditionalists in this department,” says Mangos, who serves as the club’s program director.
“Mackenzie was an integral part of my research team, leading data collection and creating presentation-quality visualizations. She is a pioneer in the field of sports analysis and a future professional superstar. Her upcoming role with the New York Yankees is just the beginning.” – Professor Jeremy Losak
In addition to mastering the intricacies of statistical computation, data visualization and database management, Mangos benefited from notable internship experience. She was selected for the NBA’s Future Analytics Stars program, which included mentoring, networking and professional development, a group project, and a workshop focused on the league’s player and business analytics. She also received a scholarship from Women in Sports Tech Inc., which placed her as a business intelligence intern at KORE Software last summer. The company specializes in business analytics for the sports and entertainment industries, including fan demographics, and Mangos’ role was to pull information from databases and create interactive informational dashboards for KORE clients. “I always imagined working for a team,” she says. “In this internship, I was in a Zoom meeting every day, working with another professional sports team and creating reports for them, so it gave me a different perspective.”
Mangos has a student job at Falk’s Admissions Office, serves as a Falk Ambassador providing information to prospective students, and as a peer advisor to help incoming students adjust to college life. She enjoys supporting other students and sees it as a way to encourage and build the program.
As graduation nears, Mangos is completing her year-long thesis project. The topic has taken her back to her catcher days: She’s crunching data on whether home plate umpires develop a season-to-season bias against catchers they’ve previously influenced with their pitch-framing mastery — by using their Positioning mittens in specific places deceptively earning strike calls. “I’m super passionate about it,” she says.
Then it’s on to Yankee Stadium, where Mangos will use her love of the game and analytical skills. “It still feels pretty surreal,” she says. “I don’t think it will hit me until I show up on my first day.”
Story by Jay Cox
Reprinted with permission, Syracuse University