Fall 2015

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Photo courtesy of the Houston Astros

Jeff Luhnow: Building A Winner

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After Jeff Luhnow graduated from college with a dual degree in economics and engineering, the avid baseball fan sent a letter to his favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, looking for any openings for someone with his skill set. “I didn’t receive a response,” he says. Luhnow ’94 MBA, a Kellogg School of Management grad who went on to career success as an entrepreneur and consultant, had all but given up on his dream of working in baseball until a former colleague who had ties to the St. Louis Cardinals called with an offer to work in the team’s scouting department. Over the next eight seasons, Luhnow, a fluent Spanish speaker raised in Mexico City, beefed up scouting in Latin America and used his mathematical background to develop the club’s analytics department from scratch. Following the 2011 season Luhnow left the Cardinals to become general manager of the Houston Astros, where he applied economic principles to the club’s rebuilding project. After three losing seasons, Luhnow has shaped the Astros into one of the top teams in the American League. “The plan’s coming together, and it may be coming together a little faster than anticipated,” he says.