Spring Training is right around the corner, and many changes and signings have taken place over the last few months. This kind of down time allows us to take a deep breath before the anticipation of the 2012 season builds during the few months before the season starts, and also allows us to do some updating of the site and its information.
Blue Jays Scouting Update
As some of you may know, we here at Jays Journal keep an updated list of who is hired to scout for the Blue Jays and what role they have within the organization. We’ve done so since Alex Anthopoulos took the helm and made it one of his mandates to enhance the abilities and effectiveness of the scouting department.
The page where we have kept an up-to-date account of who is hired for what job is available here. It is normally updated every few months, with the changes pointed out in red.
I have just completed the latest “New Year’s” update, and noticed the following major changes:
- 4 new positions have been created at top of the food chain of Jays scouting. They are: “Special Assistant to Amateur Scouting” held by Chuck LaMar, “Special Assistant Scout” held by Jon Lalonde, “Dominican Republic Scouting Director” held by Jose Rosario, and “Venezuelan Scouting Director” held by Luis Marquez.
- Simultaneously, 2 positions in the International Scouting department have been closed (Hilario Soriano and Domingo Toribio were let go), both from the Dominican Republic. So, the new Dominican Republic Scouting Director and Venezuelan Scouting Director positions “essentially” took over those positions and had them promoted up-the-chain.
- 2 new positions have been created in the “Professional Video Scouting” department. One held by Joe Barbera, and one held by Pete Holmes. Calvin Minascian, who just had his position as the only video scout created in 2011, now becomes the “Professional Video Scouting Director”, an entirely new position.
- A new Regional Cross-Checker (RCC) position was created, making it a total of 6 RCC in the Jays Scouting Department. Rob St-Julien who had previously been an Area Scout in the Louisiana area, was promoted into that position, leaving no Area Scout permanently located in the State of Louisiana. Instead, a new Area Scout, Brian Johnston, was added to the Los Angeles California area.
- Finally, Rick Down left the Professional Scouting Department, being replaced by Jim Skaalen.
In total, there were 5 more positions added to an already impressive number of scouting department personnel. The fact that the Jays have decided to bring a Dominican and Venezuelan Director to the table at the top of the scouting department tells us just how heavily they plan on being involved in those regions. Chuck LaMar and Jon Lalonde take up new positions that should make the jobs of Alex Anthopoulos and Andrew Tinnish (to whom they’re supposed to provide assistance respectively) much easier. The newly increased emphasis on Video Scouting is intriguing and should also make everyone’s job much easier to complete. And finally, adding a Regional Cross-Checker lessens the burden on all Regional Cross-Checkers and allows more eyes to spend more time on important prospects.
The Jays continue to invest heavily in their scouting department. With the new CBA in place, it’s more important than ever that each and every draft pick and international signing be as heavily scouted as possible. The changes the Jays have made of late should help them do so and will hopefully help them land some great players.
Jays Journal International Signings Page Update
The additional time off over the holidays has allowed us to update the “International Signings” page, which provides an account of the majority of the significant international signings the Jays have completed since 2002 (the last decade). You won’t find anything else like it on the web and we will continue to improve it over time. Some changes include the addition of video, basic stats, and various sources of information and rankings.
The 2012 MLB Draft Order
If at any time you’re wondering where the MLB Draft order stands and where the scouting department will get to fire their salvos in the upcoming draft, you can find the current order (subject to change as FA players sign) here.
When it comes to present, past, and future draft and international players being added to the Jays, we’ve got you covered!