The Jays Scouting Department: as of 26-Jan-10

It’s my intention to dig deeper into the Blue Jays organization as we head into 2010 in order to get a better feel for the organization as a whole, and also to get a feel for how the Alex Anthopoulos remodeling is going. The first major change made by Alex as GM was to make a definite and long term investment in the scouting department. Therefore, I decided to look at what this department looks like today, and to update this subject before the 2010 draft in order to see if anything has changed between now and then. I pull the names below from the Front Office link, which was revised as of the 26th of January, 2010.

Jays Scouting

Director, Amateur Scouting – Andrew Tinnish
Director, Professional Scouting – Perry Minasian
Director, Latin American Operations – Marco Paddy
Coordinator, Amateur Scouting – Ryan Mittleman
Coordinator, Professional Scouting – Harry Einbinder
  • MAJOR LEAGUE SCOUTS
    Major League Scout – Sal Butera
    Major League Scout – Roy Smith

  • PROFESSIONAL SCOUTING
    Professional Crosschecker 1 – Ed Lynch
    Professional Crosschecker 2 – Mike Mangan
    Professional Crosschecker 3 – Gary Rajsich
  • Professional Scout 1 – Kevin Briand
    Professional Scout 2 – John Brickley
    Professional Scout 3 – Tom Clark
    Professional Scout 4 – Steve Connelly
    Professional Scout 5 – Kimball Crossley
    Professional Scout 6 – Jim D’Aloia
    Professional Scout 7 – Rick Down
    Professional Scout 8 – Bob Hamelin
    Professional Scout 9 – John Lombardo
    Professional Scout 10 – David May Jr.
    Professional Scout 11 – Wayne Morgan
    Professional Scout 12 – Brian Parker
    Professional Scout 13 – Marteese Robinson
    Professional Scout 14 – Steve Springer
    Professional Scout 15 – Doug Witt
  • AMATEUR CROSSCHECKERS
    National Crosschecker 1 – Billy Gasparino
    National Crosschecker 2 -Tommy Tanous
    National Crosschecker 3 - Marc Tramuta
    Regional Crosschecker 1 - Matt Briggs
    Regional Crosschecker 2 – Tom Burns
    Regional Crosschecker 3 – Dan Cholowsky
    Regional Crosschecker 4 – Bob Fontaine
    Regional Crosschecker 5 – Brandon Mozley
  • AREA SCOUTS
    1- Chris Becerra – San Francisco, California
    2- Jon Bunnell – Overland Park, Kansas
    3- Dan Cox – Santa Ana, California
    4- Blake Crosby – Santa Maria, California
    5- Mark Flatten – Phoenix, Arizona
    6- Ryan Fox – Yakima, Washington
    7- Bobby Gandolfo – Lansdale, Pennsylvania
    8- Joel Grampietro – Tampa, Florida
    9- John Hendricks – Mocksville, North Carolina
    10- Aaron Jersild – Houston, Texas
    11- Randy Kramer – Aptos, California
    12- Nick Manno – North Royalton, Ohio
    13- Eric McQueen – Acworth, Georgia
    14- Mike Medici – Chicago, Illinois
    15- Steve Miller – Plano, Texas
    16- Nate Murrie – Nashville, Tennessee
    17- Cliff Pastornicky – Birmingham, Alabama
    18- Wes Penick – Clive, Iowa
    19- Michael Pesce – Long Island, New York
    20- Jorge Rivera – Puerto Nuevo, Puerto Rico
    21- Carlos Rodriguez – Miami, Florida
    22- Tim Rooney – Los Angeles, California
    23- Rob St. Julien – Lafayette, Louisianna
    24- Darin Vaughan – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Areas not covered much above, or covered too little: New England States (0 scouts), Michigan area (0 scouts), and Texas (99 players from there in ’09) only has 1 scout for a very big state with lots of MLB talent to represent it. However, the concentration in California makes sense due to their dominance with 225 players in MLB in ’09. A bigger focus on Texas may be beneficial in this case.

  • SCOUTS – CANADA
    1- Jamie Lehman - Brampton, Ontario
    2- Don Cowan – Delta, British Columbia
    3- Jim Fanning – Ambassador, Amateur Baseball
    4- Sean McCann – Ambassador, Amateur Baseball

Note: The Jays have 0 scouts in Quebec, which is a surprise considering it is right next door to Ontario and has produced some very good prospects in recent years. However, only 19 MLB players were from Canada in ’09, so it makes sense not to overspend in this area.

  • SCOUTS – INTERNATIONAL
    1- Robinson Garces – Maracaibo, Venezuela
    2- Pablo Leal -Maturin, Venezuela
    3- Erick Medina – Cartagena, Columbia
    4- Rafael Moncada – San Diego Valencia, Venezuela
    5- Miguel Bernard – San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
    6- Lorenzo Perez – Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic
    7- Hilario Soriano – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
    8- Greg Wade – Queensland, Australia

Note: The Jays currently have 0 scouts in Mexico, Nicaragua, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Netherland Antilles, or Europe. In 2009, 94 MLB players came from Venezuela, 139 from the Dominican Republic, 6 from Australia, and 4 from Columbia. I would advocate that sending a scout in Mexico who had 22 MLB players in 2009, and Japan who had 18 MLB players in ’09 makes a lot more sense than sending one to Australia or to Columbia. (Source is the Baseball-Almanac)

The Grand Total number of people dedicated to scouting for the Jays so far is 69 people. To break it down in percentages:

  • 7% are directors or coordinators of scouting overall
  • 2.8% are major league scouts
  • 21.7% are professional scouts that are overseen by the 4.3% who cross check this area
  • Another 4.3% oversee amateur scouting nationally, with 7.2% overseeing regional amateur scouting.
  • The biggest portion, 34.7%, are in charge of amateur scouting, and another 5.8% do the same in Canada and 11.6% do so Internationally.

This all seems to make a ton of sense overall. Although I don’t have the numbers that were existent under JP Ricciardi, my understanding is that it was less than half this amount, which is pretty sad to say the least. If you’re a team that is going to invest a ton of money in players, to develop them and to keep them on board thereafter, or to sign them as FAs, you need to have the right information on hand. What was JP thinking in having such a small scouting department and did he have good reason? Or is Alex right to increase it this much? Only time will tell, but I know one thing for certain, the Jays will have a lot more expertise and information to work with in the future and should therefore be able to make better judgment and decision – so long as the scouts hired and in place are the BEST scouts.

That, to me, is the biggest question: Did the Jays hire the best scouts? I guess we’ll find out in the next 4-5 years, won’t we! Meanwhile, as I said above, I’ll update this chart over time and see where Alex takes it, whether he modifies it slightly, and we’ll evaluate which scouts he leans on by looking at where the Jays are focusing their signings, drafts, and trades.

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