Three Ways that the 2020 Minnesota Twins are Embodying a Process Over Results Mindset
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY SportsBaseball, more than any other sport, is predicated on taking a long-view approach. In baseball, any team can win on any given day and even the best team in baseball loses a third of the time. The season is 162 games and the playoffs prove year after year that any team in the tournament can take home the Commissioner’s Trophy. It’s for those reasons that a “process over results” mindset is so important. Implement the right processes and your team will prove to be successful over such a long season and give your team a chance to win a World Series.
Here are the three ways that the 2020 Minnesota Twins are embodying a process- over-results mindset:
1. Embracing Technology
Last spring, Parker Hageman wrote a piece for Twins Daily about the new technologies that the Minnesota Twins brought to Fort Myers as a way to track performance and develop their players. This year, the Twins are building on that with the implementation of a new technology from NewtForce called force plates.
These force plates are raised, sensor-filled plates/mounds that track the amount of force that pitchers and hitters are exerting onto the plate. These results then get displayed onto accompanying software where players and coaches can look at the data and tweak swings, leg kicks, pitching windups, etc. in order to remain consistent and efficient in their movements. In a piece from Derek Wetmore, Derek Falvey said of this new technology, “There’s new technology in all sports that you are aware generally, and I would say it’s not unlike anything else we’ve looked at. There are [already] different sensors and things you use to measure strength in the weight room, measure swings, measure arm path, measure all kinds of things. … [Force Plates are] another thing that you want to explore and see if it could potentially help you.”
While the Minnesota Twins will never be able to match the Yankees and Dodgers in payroll, by investing in technology and player development, and getting their players to buy into the benefits from these technologies, they are staying ahead of the curve and finding other ways to gain an edge.
2. Embracing Advanced Statistics
Advanced statistics is another area that baseball players have been historically slow to embrace and adopt into their vocabulary. In prior regimes of the Minnesota Twins, advanced statistics were often ignored in favor of “throwing strikes”, “advancing runners” and “working counts”. The new-era Minnesota Twins have turned advanced statistics into a part of their everyday vocabulary and in 2020 are once again embracing the stories that advanced statistics can tell. The newly added Josh Donaldson figures to only further the advanced statistic movement in the Twins’ clubhouse.
By operating in a culture that supports and embraces advanced statistics, the Minnesota Twins are able to implement processes like launch angles and exit velocities that can lead to long term success.
3. Embracing Learning
A few weeks ago I wrote an article for Twins Daily about how the Minnesota Twins are betting on older stars. A big benefit that comes in investing in aging veterans is the knowledge that they are able to provide to younger players. This is something that new Minnesota Twins slugger, Josh Donaldson, has already shown. From the moment he arrived at Hammond Stadium, Josh Donaldson has started working with Twins’ prospects on their swings, approaches, and mechanics.
Josh Donaldson told The Athletic of his teaching session with the young guys, “I wanted
to be able to help some of these younger guys develop and start understanding a little more about who they are and what they want to become — to see those guys develop long after I’m gone.” This is yet another example of the process over results mindset that exists in the Twins locker room. A “results” mindset would be Donaldson knowing he is a talented player and can hit 30 home runs to help the Twins win games. The process mindset, though, shows Donaldson putting in the time to pour into the younger players, so that when they are called upon, they’ll be ready. This mindset sets up the Twins to win in 2020 and sustain success for years to come.
Minnesota Twins beat reporter Phil Miller reported that the Minnesota Twins organization were all given T-shirts that read “E+R = O”. Events plus response equals outcome. The Minnesota Twins won’t be able to control what comes their way this season (slumps, injuries, opponents), but by employing a process-over- results mindset, the Twins will be much better equipped to get through any turmoil that a season brings.
What do you think about the Minnesota Twins process-over-results mindset? How well do you think the Twins are equipped to deal with turmoil that comes their way in 2020? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
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