Clemson pitcher Crownover part of SABR award-winning study on roster construction

From the Associated Press on September 20, 2014:

Clemson left-hander Matthew Crownover kept working on the game in the offseason, even though the Tigers’ fall workouts hadn’t started until last weekend.

Crownover was part of a study led by Clemson University communications professor Jimmy Sanderson about how baseball teams are constructed, and more specifically if there are positions on the diamond where it’s better to have home-grown talent or to go after outside free agents.

The research found over a five-year span from 2009-2013, Major League Baseball playoff teams relied on catchers, leftfielders and relief pitchers developed through their organizations.

Also, the study said American League teams who have brought third- and second-basemen up through their system are more successful than those that don’t.

“Thus, teams should protect their home-grown players at these positions and focus acquisition efforts on players at other positions,” according to the study’s conclusions.

For Crownover, his involvement came from a fascination of how teams were built he had as a child. He was one, he said, who had as much fun trading players on video games than playing the contests.


Sanderson and Crownover won an award for their research at the SABR Convention in Houston earlier this summer, Clemson’s pitcher even getting a few minutes with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow.

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Originally published: September 23, 2014. Last Updated: September 23, 2014.