The head coach of UNB’s baseball team is taking it to the next level.
Kevin McCarthy signed a one-year contract with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays as a Player Development Technology Assistant.
McCarthy will join the team in New Hampshire in mid-March. The role seems to be a natural fit as it blends his love of on-field coaching with his strength in analytics.
The main idea is to use analytics in identifying why players are having success or struggling. He will look at swing paths or pitching mechanics to see if anything has changed.
McCarthy grew up around the game and has played his entire life.
“I was decent at the sport, but I loved the game. I understood the finer details and coaching others became my passion in baseball.”
He joined youth teams as a pitching coach and eventually joined the UNB Reds as a coach, becoming the head coach in 2016.
Since 2016, McCarthy has led the Reds to four Atlantic Championships in five seasons.
Over the past few years, taking the next step has been a big focus for McCarthy. He was in talks with a number of different teams. Thanks to COVID and internal team issues, this opportunity has waited until now.
Now, he is excited to take on the perfect role for this stage of his career.
He will attend all practices, drill work, and games to collect data on players. At this point, the data will be uploaded and transformed to allow for insights into how the player is performing and to be used in directing tweaks to their approach or mechanics.
He has done similar work for the UNB Varsity Hockey and Volleyball teams and statistical analysis has formed a large part of his career.
McCarthy and his brother founded Parados, a company that uses data and machine learning to prevent head and other injuries by predicting who is more likely to get hurt and offer solutions to lessen that individual’s risk.
The final road bump in McCarthy’s journey has just been solved. The MLB and the MLB Players Association have recently reached an agreement to avoid an extended lockout for the 2022 major league season.
With the lockout in place, any players on the Blue Jays 40-man roster would not be able to participate in Fisher Cat activities. Now, all players may return to team operations.
The future of the UNB Reds remains uncertain. Mark McNevin will likely take over as Head Coach, while McCarthy hopes to return to assist during the regular season.
He anticipates keeping his family in Fredericton for the time being and acknowledges that being away from his wife and young children will be the toughest part of this new role.
“My wife pushed me to do it even with the kids. She knows how much I have wanted this opportunity and I am grateful for her support.”