Could the Mets teach you underwriting?

I’m a lifelong Yankee fan. I don’t exactly hate the Mets but their success bothers me the way I’m bothered by flies on a beautiful  day.  They’re a minor anoyance.  Still, their success has lessons for the baseball fan and credit union executive alike.

Baseball is undergoing a statistics driven revolution: its savviest executives are using Big Data to make decisions, ranging from whom to draft to where infielders should be positioned, that used to be considered non quantifiable.

The Mets, who are headed to the World Series, have an Analytics Department that uses a top secret algorithm to help pick their lineup (No joke). Joe Madden of the Cubs was one of the first managers to position his infield based entirely on a batter’s statistically validated hitting tendencies, which is why it’s not uncommon to see a second baseman in short right field.  And the Astros GM is so successful at drafting players – just ask the Yankees –that the FBI is investigating whether the St. Louis Cardinals tried to break into a database he uses.  In fact, the most successful teams of the last few years haven’t been the ones with the most money to spend but the ones that aren’t afraid to use the analysis provided by an explosion of data points to challenge conventional wisdom.  All the teams that I mentioned were better known for loosing than winning until they took new approaches to analyzing an old game.

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