Nicholas Castellanos has been one of baseball's hottest hitters since the Chicago Cubs acquired him from the Detroit Tigers prior to the trade deadline, but the slugger would never attribute his midseason transformation to analytics.
In fact, according to Castellanos, analytics are what's wrong with modern baseball.
"The movie 'Moneyball,' that was the start of introducing this idea of analytics to fans," the 27-year-old told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. "Obviously, the movie was entertaining with Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt. But the way I look at it, what good did it do the A's? They still haven't won the World Series."
"Moneyball," released in 2011, tells the story of the Oakland Athletics' 2002 campaign and its close association with sabermetrics under general manager Billy Beane, originally documented in Michael Lewis' book, "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game."
The A's went 103-59 in 2002 but failed to advance past the American League Division Series. Oakland has made the postseason six times since then, failing to win a single game beyond the divisional round. Beane remains with the team and has since been promoted to executive vice president.
"It's extremely sexy to rebuild right now, and it's a copycat league," Castellanos continued. "Winning should be a priority, but let's be real, for a lot of teams it's not."
The league has seen a proliferation of teams intentionally fielding non-competitive rosters to cuts costs and secure higher draft picks in recent years, particularly after the Cubs and Houston Astros openly used the strategy to successful ends.
Theo Epstein took over as the Cubs' president of baseball operations prior to the 2012 season and the team promptly lost 101 games to finish last in MLB. After finishing last two more times in 2013 and 2014, Chicago made its first postseason appearance in seven years in 2015 and broke its historic 108-year championship drought in 2016.
The Astros, meanwhile, posted a win-loss record of 162-324 from 2011-13, a winning percentage of .333. The club won its first World Series title in 2017.
Four teams are on pace to lose 100 games or more in 2019, including the Tigers.
"When I got traded to the Cubs, it was like I was called up to the big leagues," Castellanos added. "I'm waking up excited to compete every day playing for something."
Castellanos was hitting .273/.328/.462 with 11 homers in 100 games with Detroit prior to being traded. He's authored a .362/.400/.712 slash line with nine home runs since the deal, nearly matching his 2019 round-tripper total with the Tigers in just 25 games for the Cubs.