The Yankees‘ mysterious audit was a headline that felt empty when revealed, largely due to the lack of information regarding what the audit would do, who would do the audit, and how they could help improve the organization. After a report from Brendan Kuty of The Athletic, it’s been revealed that the Yankees will be audited by Zelus Analytics, a sports analytics company co-founded by former Dodgers’ chief executive officer Doug Fearing, who also helped found the Dodgers’ research and development team.
It’s not a secret that the Dodgers, who have the best win percentage in baseball since 2017, have arguably the best R&D team in baseball, if not all of sports, and the man behind that department will now audit the Yankees’ organization. While it’s still vague what the audit will specifically evaluate, this is a potential game-changer for their analytics department.
Why Did the Yankees Choose Zelus Analytics?
The final months of the season were riddled with quotes from players and front-office personnel regarding the Yankees’ use of data and how they need to improve going forward. Aaron Judge spoke out about the Yankees potentially utilizing the wrong information, and even back in 2021, Aaron Boone famously said that the league had caught up to them after their Wild Card defeat. It’s Brian Cashman’s declaration that the season was a disaster back in August that stamped the season as a failure; with a month left to go, they already knew it was unsalvageable, a verbal white flag.
2023 was a year of failure for the Yankees, and they’ll look not to forget it but learn from it as they enter an offseason full of questions on the field and off of it, especially following the departure of hitting coach Sean Casey. The Yankees are playing catch-up, and the Texas Rangers’ victory over the Diamondbacks in the World Series now makes it 10 teams who have won the World Series since the Yankees last did in 2009, and over half the league has won a pennant since the Yankees last did, which also came in 2009.
Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole are not going to remain superstars forever, and with a bevy of top-100 prospects on their way from the farm system, as Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, Everson Pereira, and Austin Wells all featured a large role in their September hot streak, internal development is pivotal to their success. When evaluating Zelus Analytics, its mission statement centers around helping teams make more informed decisions regarding data and their application of it, and as mentioned earlier, the company pedigree is hard to deny.
It’ll be an interesting offseason for the Bronx Bombers, but this is a step in the right direction for their organizational process moving forward.