The Keys to Baseball Success, as Demonstrated by the Rays

Will sent me this drawing today. It reminds me of something Dave Cameron, friend and boss, once said to me. In essence it was this: The cat's out of the bag for most advanced analytical teams. The process for creating a winning team is basically a known process: Invest in scouting, invest in international talent (especially amateur international talent), and extend your own superstars.


Well, granted, that's actually changed a bit since we talked about it last. The new amateur int'l spending limits have put a strong damper on that idea. Especially for small market teams, who kind of made a living in that zone. But regardless, the key to success for the majority of the league (small and medium market teams for sure) is to invest in the low-cost, high-upside players.

The Rays have done that, and then they've done more. And each organization will have their own approach to pursuing these cheap talents, but the Rays have separated themselves with an aggressive approach towards public research (read: blogging research), and they were in the frontier group of marrying old and new schools. Ricketts has said before he wants to emulate the Red Sox, and frankly, the Red Sox fit the Cubs' situation just about perfectly, but that doesn't mean they can't also learn from the Rays or aspire to innovate like them either.

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