Thursday, December 8, 2011

Astros hire Jeff Luhnow

The Astros have their man: St. Louis Cardinals Vice President of Player Procurement Jeff Luhnow has been named General Manager, and the franchise will be shaped in his own image.

George Postolos:
"Jeff has a demonstrated the ability to inspire and motivate staff in the front office and out in the field. He was born and raised in Mexico and his bicultural background will be an asset in recruiting players from Latin America and developing the Hispanic market for Los Astros."

Luhnow, 45, graduated from the Wharton School of Business at Penn, and had been with the Cardinals since 2003, overseeing their drafts since 2005.

Derrick Goold writes:
A pet project of his has been increasing the Cardinals' ability to evaluate and sign players in the Caribbean, and two of the Cardinals' top prospects — pitcher Carlos Martinez and outfielder Oscar Taveras — have been products from that system.

Here's a 2008 interview between Luhnow and Baseball Prospectus. And here's another interview from 2004.

The Cardinals' minor league affiliates have posted a 2953-2912 (.503) record in Luhnow's tenure as Draft Overseer, including a 920-803 (.534) record in the past two seasons. Just for comparison, the Astros' affiliates have a 2583-3113 (.453) record in the same span, and a 697-956 (.422) record over 2010-11.

Luhnow - who has a difficult name to make a nickname of - is the 4th general manager of the Astros since 2004.