As a player development trainee for Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals, Manning School of Business
alum Drew Epperson ’21 uses the latest technology and software to provide player data analytics to the organization’s front office.
Epperson says he felt prepared for the two-year internship thanks to his time at UML, where he was student manager of the Division I River Hawks baseball team
and a summer intern with the Lowell Spinners, a former Single-A minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
“The use of technology in baseball has grown tremendously in the last couple of years, and being able to work with it at UML let me hit the ground running with the Royals,” says Epperson, who began using a device called Rapsodo that tracks pitching and hitting movements during his sophomore year. With the Spinners in 2019, he used a system called TrackMan to track pitching. The technologies, and others like them, help improve player mechanics and performance, as well as reduce the risk of injury.
A native of Andover, Massachusetts, Epperson grew up around baseball
. His father, Chad, played minor league ball for nine years and now manages the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox.
While his dad’s connections helped him land the Royals internship, Epperson knows he has to make the most of the opportunity if he wants to achieve his goal of a career in Major League Baseball.
“It's definitely a dream come true. I’m lucky to be around something I love to do every day — and with a great organization,” says Epperson, who works with a video-based system called BATS, along with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software, to provide detailed analysis of player performance.
After working at the Royals’ spring training camp in Surprise, Arizona, Epperson spent his first summer with their Double-A team in Springdale, Arkansas. In his second year, he will be with Quad City Bandits, a High-A team in Davenport, Iowa.
“It’s cool to travel around and see different parts of the country that I’ve never been to,” he says. “And some of the relationships I’ve been able to make — not even baseball-related, but in life in general — have been special.”
Some of those relationships go back years. Jesus Delgado, a minor league pitching coach for the Royals, played for Epperson’s dad in 2005 when Chad managed the Red Sox’ Single-A team in Greenville, South Carolina.
“He remembered me when I was like 6 years old. It’s crazy,” Epperson says.
Born with a severe cleft lip and palate and associated medical issues that slowed his physical development, Epperson has had more than two dozen corrective surgeries throughout his life. He has one more surgery on the horizon but is otherwise “good” medically, he says.
For now, he’s focused on helping the Royals’ minor league players achieve their major league dreams. Doing so will help Epperson follow his father’s footsteps in the game.
“He reminds me all the time how proud he is and how special it is,” says Epperson, who is often too busy to think about his own future. “But my dream is to work in baseball for the rest of my professional life. We’ll see. I’m just going to be where my feet are every day and do my thing.”