MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is new leadership atop the Minnesota Twins, and for the first time in their history, it’s people hired from outside the organization to lead their baseball operations.
The Twins introduced Derek Falvey as Chief Baseball Officer and Thad Levine as General Manager Monday at a news conference, where they laid out their vision for the franchise’s future.
“Both Thad and I have grown, and experienced a measure of success, within organizational cultures that understand the value in creating balanced systems, designing, implementing, and evaluating processes,” Falvey said.
If this sounds more like a math class you slept through in college than your favorite baseball team’s strategy for winning, well, Falvey and Levine say there’s more to it.
“I think the art form of it is marrying it up with the scouting acumen of your field staff,” Levine said. “The people who are truly the talent evaluators are really the difference-makers in the game.”
The Twins are about to embrace the age of analytics like never before. But it was another buzz-word — collaboration — that Falvey seemed to favor more than any other in laying out his vision.
“I think for me, over the last handful of years, I’ve learned the value in cross-departmental collaboration,” he said. “I think we tend to view baseball through the lens of scouting, and player development, and major league team. And I’ve found that there’s huge power in tapping into the resources that exist across different baseball departments.”
Falvey and Levine say Twins ownership is committed to investing in the front office, beefing up its size by adding staff in the data and statistical analysis departments – all part of what Falvey describes as a culture of “evidence-based decision-making.”
“And evidence doesn’t necessarily just come from numbers or metrics,” Falvey said. “It comes from trying as best we can to quantify and dig deep into the quality of the information of the inputs to make a decision. And that is scouting information, that’s medical information, that’s any type of traditional analytics that’s numbers based. So as Thad mentioned, the marriage of that information, that’s when you make the best decisions.”