Astroball The New Way to Win it All

Ben Reiter

'Essential for anyone fascinated by how the smartest in modern sport assemble champion teams. Astroball is Moneyball 2.0: it’s about data but also about the person, something of which the best recruitment departments in football – like Liverpool – are aware. The rest need to read this book and learn' — Jonathan Northcroft, The Sunday times

WHEN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED declared on the cover of a June 2014 issue that the Houston Astros would win the World Series in 2017, people thought Ben Reiter, the article’s author, was crazy. The Astros were the worst baseball team in half a century. The cover story, combined with the specificity of Reiter’s claim, met instant and nearly universal derision.

But three years later, the Astros won the World Series for the first time in their history. How had Reiter predicted it so accurately? And, more importantly, how had the Astros pulled off the impossible?

Astroball is the inside story of how a gang of outsiders went beyond Moneyball’s data revolution to find a new way to win. They did so by combining hard data with the human judgment of the scouts who had been marginalised by the modernisation of their sport.

The lessons they learned stretch far beyond baseball into big business and other professional sports. Astroball is a ground-breaking look at the cutting edge of evaluating and optimising human potential.

Praise for Astroball

‘A fastball to the heart. Moneyball goes into extra innings where humans mean more than stats’– Hugh MacDonald, Daily Mail
‘Astroball... is a look at the future, and not just of baseball. Other industries, take note’– David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene
‘You can’t add a veteran scout’s experience, gut intuition or locker-room camaraderie on to a spreadsheet ... all were key to the Astros’ success. Compelling’– Graeme MacPherson, The Herald
'Astroball is Moneyball for the next generation... the business and ideas book of the year'– Ken Rosenthal, two-time sports Emmy winner for outstanding sports reporter
'Astroball will of course be of interest to sports fans ... but the message (man + machine = success) should also resonate in business settings and the fields of medicine and education'– Houston Press
'Few scribes today can match Michael Lewis’s ability to just plain write, whether about sports, politics, or economics. But Reiter’s engaging account adeptly blends a journalist’s nose for a good story, a writer’s nuanced sympathy for his characters, and an industry trend-spotter’s analysis of important new developments. A worthy update of Moneyball indeed.'– Claremont Review of Books