An interesting look at one of the Yankees' prodigy whiz. He also advocated getting Chacon which so far paid off.
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At 21, Victor Hu may be younger than the other pundits predicting a great 2006 Yankees season, but his track record in baseball prognostication is, so far, unassailable: As a Yankees intern at George Steinbrenner’s Tampa compound last summer, the Harvard JV second-baseman and applied-math and psychology major (who’s also working on a statistics master’s) advocated a potentially risky mid-season trade. His research showed a promising, previously undiscovered factor in Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Shawn Chacon’s inconsistent performance. His bosses agreed, and Chacon ended up a major contributor to the Yanks’ division title.The Yankees should offer this kid a post-grad baseball job.senior, Hu admits he was a bandwagon Red Sox fan until his extensive independent research into baseball-analysis problems caught the eye of Yankees brass when he sent in his résumé unsolicited; his hiring and the employment of a New York–based stathead named Michael Fishman mark a major foray into serious statistical analysis for the largely scouts-and-hunches Yanks front office, “though they’re certainly still much more heavily invested in traditional methods,” as Hu says. Hu is talking to several teams about post-graduation baseball-biz jobs, but he offered New York some gratis insights on the Yanks and Mets (both of whom he considers favorites to win their divisions).
Hideki Matsui, left field, Yankees
Gary Sheffield, right field, Yankees
“Matsui especially is often unrecognized for being a clutch player. Using the strict ‘close-and-late’ definition of ‘clutch’—seventh inning or later, down by one, tied, or up by one—they’re tremendous. Only a few players in the league hit 5 to 10 percent better in those situations than they do in non-clutch plate appearances. Matsui and Sheffield were two of them.”