Long before it was a $100 million film starring Brad Pitt’s rakish haircut, Moneyball was an introspective glimpse into the inner workings of Major League Baseball. And in his bestselling book, author Michael Lewis described the traditional way teams were run, prospects were graded and the revolutionary changes brought about at the dawn of the century by Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. Along with his team of mathematically-inclined assistants—sabermetricians, as they've become known—Beane brought to the table a new way to measure players efficiency: statistical analysis. He used this metric to gauge players on the team, players he wanted, and players he wanted to draft.
Turning the old yardsticks of offensive production—batting average, home runs, and RBI—on their head, Beane and his sabermetricians put their theories to the test in the trade market, in the free agent market, and more than anywhere else, in the 2002 amateur draft.
The draft, as Lewis explained it, was to be the real make-it-or-break-it moment for the testing of sabermetric theories, and it was via the draft that Beane would prove to the world that his way was not just the best way, but the only sane way for teams to scout talent.
Now, ten years later, it’s time to sit in judgment.