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OnBaseMachine
06-09-2009, 11:16 AM
No shortage of sets of eyes
By Tom Groeschen tgroeschen@enquirer.com June 8, 2009

Every team has a different number of scouts, but the Reds are fairly typical these days. Here is a glance at the Reds' amateur scouting division:

Chris Buckley, senior director of scouting: In his fourth season in the Reds' organization, Buckley oversees all aspects of scouting for the June first-year player draft.

Wilma Mann, director of scouting administration: In her 37th year with the Reds, she runs the day-to-day operations of the Reds' scouting department. She is the mother of Reds head athletic trainer Mark Mann.

Scouting supervisors (19 in all) are broken into East and West, covering the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Cross-checkers (five in all) compare scouts' ratings, checking off various opinions. One scout might rate a player a 52 (slightly above big-league average) and another a 49 (slightly below). The cross-checker weighs the opinions and determines a player's actual value.

International scouting (26 people): For Latin America, the Reds have a scouting director (Tony Arias) and an assistant director (Miguel Machado).

The team also has a director of international operations, Jim Stoeckel.

For the fertile Dominican Republic, the team has a scouting coordinator (Richard Jimenez) and four more scouts.

For Venezuela, there is a field coordinator (Joe Miguel Nieves) and four scouts.

The Reds have three scouts in Australia, one in Colombia, one in Germany, one for Hawaii/Japan, one in Italy, one in Korea, one in Nicaragua, one in Panama, one in South Africa, one in Taiwan and one in The Netherlands.

The team has 10 part-time scouts in the United States. That includes two scouts in Cincinnati (Denny Nagel and Marlon Styles).

The Reds also have an 11-man professional scouting bureau headed by Gene Bennett, whose title is senior special assistant to the general manager/pro scout. Bennett has been with the Reds for 57 years overall.

Pro scouts include "advance" scouts, who travel ahead of the major-league club to watch the team the club will play next. Others scout major- and minor-league players who might be offered in trades.

The Reds' pro scouts include former major-league players Mike Squires and Jamie Quirk

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090608/SPT04/906090345/1071/No+shortage+of+sets+of+eyes

OnBaseMachine
06-09-2009, 11:23 AM
Whose numbers will add up next?
Scouts must weigh hard data as well as the intangibles
By Tom Groeschen tgroeschen@enquirer.com June 8, 2009

Pete Rose had few of the physical tools that major-league scouts want, but Rose wound up with more hits than anyone else in Major League Baseball history.

Johnny Bench had all the physical tools scouts want. Great bat, great arm, everything. Bench became a Hall of Famer and is considered by some to be the greatest catcher ever.

The Reds greats both were found and signed by major-league scouts and are testament to the highly subjective nature of baseball evaluation.

Chris Buckley, the Reds' senior director of scouting, will oversee the team's draft this week. Buckley said there never has been a surefire way to predict whether a player will make it, and there probably never will be.

"You can measure how fast a guy runs, how hard a pitcher throws," Buckley said. "You can break down a player's swing or a pitcher's delivery. But a lot of times, the hardest thing is the intangibles such as desire and toughness.

"That's what makes it such a hard business, and that's why we have several people out there evaluating players."

Each major-league team has between 20 and 30 full-time scouts and several more part-timers, whose jobs are to identify and rate players who have professional potential.

It culminates annually in the June draft, which this year is today through Thursday.

Buckley, who has more than 20 years in baseball scouting and administration, said the process remains a monumental challenge. Scouting consumes hundreds of man-hours and endless travel. Some players are tracked from early in their teen years.

Buckley and the Reds have a full staff of assistants that includes national cross-checkers, scouting supervisors, part-time scouts and international scouts.

Not all are scouting high school or college players. Some are "pro" scouts who do advance work at the MLB and minor-league levels.

For instance, before the Reds played the Brewers in a recent series, each team had scouts evaluating the other club.

All 30 MLB teams also belong to the Major League Scouting Bureau, a service that helps identify players. Organizations such as Perfect Game (pgcrosschecker.com) and Baseball America (baseballamerica.com) also rate players.

The cross-checkers are a significant evolution in scouting over the past few decades.

"It started in the early '70s, when the Phillies went to it because they got burned on a player," Buckley said. "Now, the cross-checker can compare ratings and make the call."

Cross-checkers compare players via a numerical system. For instance, Buckley said a 50 rating means an average major-league player. A 20 is the low end, while an 80 indicates a gold-plated superstar.

"You might have a scout in Texas who turns a guy in as a 50, and a scout in Ohio turns in the same guy as a 45," Buckley said. "The cross-checker's job is to look at the guy and see what he's really worth. You learn that some scouts are more aggressive than others with their ratings."

When Alex Rodriguez came out of high school in the early 1990s, for instance, he generally carried about a 70 rating.

Jay Bruce carried about a 60 rating before he was the Reds' No. 1 pick in 2005. Bruce arrived in the majors in May 2008 and ranks among National League home run leaders this season.

"Now, look back at Pete Rose," Buckley said. "His measurable tools were not that tremendous. Not a great runner or thrower, but his intangibles were 80. Toughness, 80. Desire, 80. And he was a great hitter."

Johnny Bench
"He would grade out an 80 arm, 80 as a catcher, 80 on power," Buckley said. "Joe Morgan, now he's a Hall of Famer too, but he was a small guy. There were guys faster than him, and he did not grade out high physically. But he was a great hitter for a small guy, great fielder, smart player. That's what makes scouting so challenging, identifying guys and projecting them."

Dustin Pedroia, the reigning American League MVP, is another Morgan-type story.

"Pedroia just won MVP and he's about 5-foot-7," Buckley said. "What he has are great instincts, great hitter. He's small and does not run exceptionally well, but he can hit and he can play."

First, find players

First, the scouts have to find these players.

"We're similar to a sales department," Buckley said. "We have a scout in each (U.S.) region called a territorial scout. He files reports on his region. These are the guys who find the players."

It can come via word of mouth, personal experience or the Internet. These days, it's usually a combination thereof.

If an area scout finds a player, he will report it to his regional supervisor. The next level up are the cross-checkers, who report to Buckley.

The reports all go into the team's main database as to who's good, who's not and who's (maybe) on first.

High schoolers tricky

Walt Jocketty, the Reds' general manager, said the real trick is projecting whether high school players can succeed at the pro level.

For every Ken Griffey Jr. who gets it right away, there are many more Homer Baileys who take longer to develop.

"The hardest thing for a scout is to project a high school player who can succeed three, four, five years down the road," Jocketty said. "That's a real talent."

Jocketty said most of the legwork is done by area scouts. Each team has scouts responsible for different regions of the United States, and teams also have scouts in foreign countries.

The Reds have scouts in the U.S., Australia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Japan, Italy, Korea, Nicaragua, Panama, South Africa, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

Domestically, how does a high school player get on a team's radar?

"The scouts follow kids all the way up, sometimes from Little League," Jocketty said. "They'll maybe hear about a kid as a freshman in high school and follow him. A lot of it is area scouts doing their homework."

The Internet/information age, which truly took off in the late 1990s, also helped make things a little easier.

"You can look at local newspapers online and see who the top players are," Jocketty said. "That saves you money and gives you insight into players you probably didn't even know about."

Usually, the scouts have their targets and stay on those players for several years. Rather than just show up at random games, the scouts get a solid idea of who can play before they venture out with radar guns.

Hep Cronin, a former longtime scout and national cross-checker for the Atlanta Braves, said there are several basic ways scouts find and identify prospects.

Cronin, father of University of Cincinnati men's basketball coach Mick Cronin, advanced to national cross-checker - a lofty position just under a team's scouting chief. Hep Cronin recently retired from his Braves post after more than 40 years of baseball scouting.

Cronin said the summer season is the major time when scouts find players. Summer leagues, area tryout camps and so-called "showcase" events, when players are evaluated at the same time, are invaluable.

"Once the high school season starts, it's such a short season that you don't have time to see them," Cronin said. "In the summer they have an East Coast showcase, West Coast, and the national tournaments with the (Cincinnati-based) Midlands and Storm Club type of teams. The top clubs in the summer usually have the better kids."

Area scouts create the scouting lists, Cronin said. Then each team's cross-checkers start about Feb. 1 in the warm-weather states to begin evaluating players.

"Nobody's playing in the north that early," Cronin said. "Not that there aren't players up here, but there's just less of them. Half the players in the draft will come from California, Florida, Texas and Georgia. That's just the way it is, because they can play more."

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090608/SPT04/906090343/1071/Whose+numbers+will+add+up+next?

schmidty622
06-09-2009, 11:24 AM
How much does a scout make? I don't really have a whole lot of interest in being a scout, just curious as to what they make on average?

dougdirt
06-09-2009, 11:25 AM
The team has 10 part-time scouts in the United States. That includes two scouts in Cincinnati (Denny Nagel and Marlon Styles).


Nagel was my gym teacher in Elementary. Was my brothers principal a few years later. He has been with the Reds for a long time.

Brutus
06-09-2009, 02:06 PM
How much does a scout make? I don't really have a whole lot of interest in being a scout, just curious as to what they make on average?

I believe most seasoned full-time scouts make between $50-$75,000 a year. Some scouting directors probably make just over six figures.

Also of note in addition to the structure of each individual team's scouting, Major League Baseball has its own scouting bureau that provide scouting reports on all players it deems to be draft prospects. I seem to recall reading one time that the scouting bureau employs some 75-100 full-time personnel, though I could be mistaken.

schmidty622
06-09-2009, 03:33 PM
I believe most seasoned full-time scouts make between $50-$75,000 a year. Some scouting directors probably make just over six figures.

Also of note in addition to the structure of each individual team's scouting, Major League Baseball has its own scouting bureau that provide scouting reports on all players it deems to be draft prospects. I seem to recall reading one time that the scouting bureau employs some 75-100 full-time personnel, though I could be mistaken.

Thats pretty good pay. I'm surprised the Reds employ so many with having to shell out that kind of salary for each full timer.

Brutus
06-09-2009, 03:58 PM
Thats pretty good pay. I'm surprised the Reds employ so many with having to shell out that kind of salary for each full timer.

Well, that's high end and mostly for the veteran scouts. I'd say the entry-level and part-time guys are around $30-40 K.

But yea, when it's all said and done, you're looking at several mil invested in scouting payrolls.

RedlegJake
06-10-2009, 09:23 AM
Well, that's high end and mostly for the veteran scouts. I'd say the entry-level and part-time guys are around $30-40 K.

But yea, when it's all said and done, you're looking at several mil invested in scouting payrolls.

That's why Marge the Destructor fired most of the scouts. To her it looked like a waste of dollars. Scouting is one of those hidden budgets most fans forget about. They look at the payroll and think that, along with a few FO people, and travel, are it. Most fans would be amazed at the number of total people on the payroll who don't play.

traderumor
06-10-2009, 04:07 PM
Wilma Mann, director of scouting administration: In her 37th year with the Reds, she runs the day-to-day operations of the Reds' scouting department. She is the mother of Reds head athletic trainer Mark Mann.I hate nepotism ;)

reds1869
06-10-2009, 04:16 PM
High quality scouts are one of the best investments an organization can make. Scouting can really help an organization blossom, or it can sink the club to the bottom like an anchor. A highly paid, highly skilled scout with a keen eye and encyclopedic knowledge is the best bargain in baseball. It all comes down to spending millions of dollars on the right player versus millions on the wrong one. See: Joe Mauer vs. Mark Prior.