Astros GM Talks World Series Strategy with Bauer Alumni

In 2013 Talk, Jeff Luhnow Describes Four-Year Business School Development Model

Published on November 6, 2017

The Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series
Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow addresses Bauer Alumni during April 2013 luncheon at Minute Maid Park.

Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow addresses Bauer Alumni during April 2013 luncheon at Minute Maid Park.

In what now seems like a prophetic speech, Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow shared with Bauer College alumni in April 2013 how business principles and sports success go hand-in-hand.

He told alumni gathered at Minute Maid Park for a networking event that he was approaching the development of a group of young, unknown baseball players as something akin to a four-year business school model.

“We look at this system as one that turns raw material into finished product in four years,” said Luhnow, who joined the Astros front office in 2011. “It’s analogous to a college, so we have to teach them skills to help them be successful in their careers.”

Needless to say, the Astros under Luhnow’s guidance have hit it out of the park.

The team won the first World Series Championship title for the franchise with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Nov. 1. The formerly unknown young players have achieved renown, fame and the adulation of Houston fans, and many are heralding the 2017 series as one of the most exciting in history.

As the Houston region basks in the glow of its first World Series win, Bauer continues to lay the foundation for future student success. And Luhnow’s words of wisdom as expressed to Bauer Alumni at a lunch sponsored by Energy Champion Services in 2013, seem uncannily predictive.

  • “The team that you saw on the field on opening day is the youngest team in baseball, and I think by definition when you have young talent they’re not well-known, they’re not household names and there’s a lot of variability. There’s a lot of excitement around this team and hopefully that will continue.”
  • “You have to get the people involved in any change program. It requires advocacy. I made sure I reached out to the most tenured people to convince them there was change needed, and once I convinced them of the changes, they were able to convince others.”
  • “Until you have evidence, it’s not going to convince people who have been doing things a certain way. You start by piloting something, and once things start going well, you accelerate it.”