HOUSTON – Ever since he was hired as the general manager for the Houston Astros in 2011, Jeff Luhnow has had a profound impact on the organization’s success, highlighted by the team’s 2017 World Series title.
But that title has come under fire – and Luhnow, along with manager A.J. Hinch, were fired earlier this year after Major League Baseball issued one-season suspensions for each of them, for their roles in a sign-stealing scandal.
Luhnow is ready to tell his side of the story. He sat down with KPRC 2′s Vanessa Richardson to discuss the situation, in an interview that will air at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
From his beginnings to where he stands now, here are five things to know about Luhnow.
1.) He didn’t start out in baseball.
Luhnow earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in economics and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in management from Northwestern University. He then worked in the corporate world for five years before getting his start in baseball.
2.) He began in baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Despite the lack of MLB experience, Luhnow was hired in 2003 by the St. Louis Cardinals as vice president of baseball development. While with the Cardinals, Luhnow drafted 24 players who made it to the Major Leagues, and established an academy in the Dominican Republic.
3.) He used his pre-baseball background to build a strong core for the Astros.
After being named the Astros new general manager in 2011, Luhnow used his engineering and management background to build an internal computer system dubbed “Ground Control” that was the backbone of the organization’s scouting and drafting, according to heavy.com.
With an emphasis on data and analytics on players, Luhnow drafted players such as Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Lance McCullers and Kyle Tucker. There were some busts, however, most notably, when the team took Mark Appel with the No. 1 overall pick in 2013.
4.) He left a great track record with the Astros, numbers-wise.
It took a few years, but Luhnow built the Astros into one of baseball’s teams beyond just that World Series win in 2017. There were five winning seasons, four playoff appearances, three seasons where the team won more than 100 games, and the organization was one game away from winning another World Series in 2019 before losing to Washington in seven games.
5.) Will he land another general manager job?
It all depends on how willing another organization is to give him a second chance, despite his suspension and firing. The Los Angeles Angels are in the market for a new general manager, and Luhnow might be a candidate they would consider, according to CBS Sports. Once the baseball off-season commences, it remains to be seen if more GM openings will pop up, and whether Luhnow will get another crack.