Who is David Stearns?
Stearns is a Harvard graduate. He's worked in baseball for awhile now, having been in the game since 2008. He's 30-years-old. He's the new general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers.
David Stearns might just be the answer to the Brewers' prayers out of mediocrity. The team hasn't made the playoffs since 2011. And with the NL Central quickly becoming Major League Baseball's hardest division thanks to the Pirates, Cardinals, and Cubs, the Brewers might not be a playoff team for awhile.
And that's where Stearns comes in.
Thispast February, ESPN had a "great analytics rankings," where they rated teams based on their usage of analytics within their sport.
The Brewers were given a "One Foot In" rating, as it was noted that they used analytics in shifting, as well as seeing the hidden value in Jonathan Lucroy's pitch framing. It also prasied them for signing Carlos Gomez and Lucroy to team friendly, long-term deals before they broke out.
Stearns will put the other foot in for the Brewers. He's coming from an Astros organization that was in the "All-In" category and is thrown up there with the Oakland Athletics as the two most analytically friendly teams in the Majors (while that is necessarily true, I don't know, but it is what it is).
But he's not just about the stats. Stearns "worked well" with the Astros' scouting department as well, giving him the well-roundedness that is needed for a general manager to be successful.
The Brewers offseason will be a fun one to watch. What will Stearns do now that he has full control of the team? He probably won't be making any fancy moves; the team is probably still a few years away from contention. But what he does could still be significant in its own way.
So to answer the initial question: Will Stearns answer the Brewers' prayers? He's well-liked around the game; he's analytically friendly, though not completely reliant on data; and he's young and probably will bring a lot of innovation to the job.
Stearns is the answer.