Brewers: Finding David Stearns’ Actual Batting Average As GM

Mar 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager David Stearns addresses the media before their game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager David Stearns addresses the media before their game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /
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Everyone knows David Stearns has a high batting average as the Milwaukee Brewers top baseball executive. But what is that batting average exactly?

We talk about it all the time. Whenever there’s a move that fans don’t understand or the media doesn’t understand, we simply repeat “David Stearns has a high batting average” and we, as Brewers fans, should trust his judgment. Even owner Mark Attanasio has repeated that phrase “David Stearns has a high batting average” over and over.

In the five seasons David Stearns has put together the Brewers roster, things have gone extremely well. The Brewers have made the postseason three times and, for the most part, the moves he has made have worked out in the Crew’s favor. So we can assume he has a good batting average.

But what exactly is that batting average?

We know it’s high, we hear that all the time. But what’s the actual number?

Those questions are what this story is set to answer.

David Stearns has been the Brewers top baseball executive, serving first as GM and now President of Baseball Operations, for five full seasons now and is embarking on his sixth offseason being in charge of constructing the Brewers roster.

That gives us a solid base to work with and a statistically significant enough sample size to draw conclusions about his batting average. Although Stearns and many others may view OPS as a better indicator of performance than batting average nowadays, we’re not going to try to ascertain a slugging percentage or what kinds of hits these moves were. That would be too complicated and arbitrary.

Yes, determining the Christian Yelich trade was a ‘home run’ is easy, but for the rest of them, that’s up for too much debate.

There are several categories of acquisitions, including waiver claims, free agents, and trades.

For the purposes of this story, I looked at every single waiver claim, free agent signing, and trade that David Stearns has made since he was named the Brewers GM back in September 2015 up through the end of the 2020 season. Anything done in the 2020-21 offseason, such as the recent trade of Corey Knebel, will not be included simply because we don’t know how it’ll work out yet.

Based on the results of the transaction, (how the player(s) performed, etc.) I categorized each move as a hit, a miss, or a draw. Draws can mean either a wash between both sides, adding nothing but subtracting nothing, or it’s too early to tell.

With that, let’s dig in.

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