Are the Indians trying to use intelligence as an undervalued trait (an inefficiency in Moneyball talk)?
We know, of course, about Mark Shapiro's student-athlete Princeton education, and that of other Indians front-office types. And of course we're familiar with the Stanford (Jody Gerut, Jason Cooper, Jeremy Guthrie, Ryan Garko), Vandy (Sowers and Jenson Lewis), and Harvard (Herrman) draft picks and signings, or the willingness to sign a Brian Barton.
Shapiro has also mentioned the intelligence of certain players repeatedly over the years. A few examples:
On Ryan Drese: "He is very cerebral, very intelligent." (April 14, 2002)
"Jody [Gerut] is an affirmation of our belief that intelligent and hard-working players can progress to the major-league level." (July 14, 2003)
Jeriome Robertson has "exceptional intangibles--determination, toughness and intelligence. . . ."
(March 31, 2004)
On Hafner: "He has that shtick about being a dumb country boy, but he's mentally tough and intelligent." (August 28, 2005)
On Sowers coming to the big leagues: "We recognize there will be a transition . . . He's also a player who has the ability, because of his control . . . and intelligence, that the transition may be a more rapid pace." (June 20, 2006)
On letting Guthrie go: "He obviously had the stuff. He has the intelligence and the character." (January 19, 2007)
Is this a conscious effort by the Indians to exploit a perceived inefficiency, or do other organizations have similar values and priorities?
More importantly, how does intelligence translate into a baseball advantage? Is it connected to maturity? mental toughness? ability to accept coaching, make adjustments, study the opposition?
And finally, if the Indians are trying to exploit an inefficiency, is their effort working?