HOUSTON -- Sig Mejdal, the former NASA engineer and blackjack dealer who spearheaded the analytical team that helped the Astros win their first World Series last year, has allowed his contract with the Astros to expire as he pursues other opportunities, MLB.com has learned.Mejdal, who served this year as special
HOUSTON -- Sig Mejdal, the former NASA engineer and blackjack dealer who spearheaded the analytical team that helped the Astros win their first World Series last year, has allowed his contract with the Astros to expire as he pursues other opportunities, MLB.com has learned.
Mejdal, who served this year as special assistant to the general manager, process development, told MLB.com on Sunday the decision to leave the Astros was his alone. He joined the club in 2012 after following president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow to Houston from St. Louis, initially with the title of director of decision sciences.
"It was me asking for some time to explore other opportunities," said Mejdal, whose contract expired on Oct. 31. "Jeff is an amazing manager and always been supportive of me and was again in this case."
Luhnow couldn't be reached for comment.
Mejdal spent seven seasons with the Astros as one of the organization's key analysts, contributing to personnel decisions ranging from the MLB Draft to the Major League club. In 2017, he spent the summer in uniform at short-season Tri-City with the title of assistant to the GM, process improvement. At Tri-City, he advised the coaching staff and players on how to incorporate data into their infield positioning and pitch selection. He also coached first base.
Mejdal worked for the Cardinals from 2005-11. With St. Louis, he was involved with modeling, analysis and data-driven decision making throughout all levels of the Cardinals organization and was a key contributor in the Draft processes.
He grew up in the Bay Area as a fan of the Oakland A's and was always interested in baseball stats. As a kid, he had a membership in the Society for American Baseball Research, and he earned two engineering degrees at the University of California-Davis and later completed advanced degrees in operations research and cognitive psychology/human factors. He has also worked at Lockheed Martin in California and for NASA.
Mejdal's departure comes on the heels of the exit of Astros director of research and development Mike Fast in September.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.