Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This project is a case study on three small market Major League Baseball teams: Oakland, Minnesota, and Cincinnati. The purpose is to discover why some small market teams fail and why some succeed using the hypothesis that small market teams with better player development systems are more successful. Using many different baseball statistics and developing numerous databases, I discovered that Oakland, while being the most successful franchise of the three teams, also has the best player development system. The paper defines small market teams while examining the relationship between winning and attendance, payroll, and wins. Other variables examined include the use homegrown players, the success of teams’ drafts, and teams’ player development systems. The latter is analyzed using a statistic known as VORP. In the end, it is concluded that better player development systems do lead to more success in small markets.

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