Area Scouts With The Most Big League Debuts This Decade

In a companion piece, we profile Brian Bridges, the Southeast crosschecker for the Braves, and Ramon Pena, the director of Latin American operations for Indians, the two area scouts who have signed the most big leaguers to debut since 2010.

In this sidebar, we call attention to the eight scouts who have had six or more big leaguers since 2010, and following that, we list in chart form all the scouts who have three or more big leaguers in that time. 

Ramon Pena, Tigers/Mets/Indians (11 players)

Jenrry Mejia
Jenrry Mejia

Area Base: Dominican Republic. Current Role: Director of Latin American operations for Indians.

2010 Debuts: RHP Jenrry Mejia (Mets).
2011 Debuts: RHP Maikel Cleto (Mets), RHP Luis Marte (Tigers), RHP Lester Oliveros (Tigers) and RHP Brayan Villareal (Tigers).
2012 Debuts: RHP Rhiner Cruz (Tigers), RHP Jeurys Familia (Mets), OF Gorkys Hernandez (Tigers) and 2B Jordany Valdespin (Mets).
2013 Debuts: RHP Gonzalez Germen (Mets) and 2B Jose Ramirez (Indians).

While working for the Tigers from 1985-2006, Pena hit big on international talent such as second baseman Omar Infante and closers Francisco Cordero and Fernando Rodney. He continued to excel at finding big-time arms with major league potential while working for the Mets from 2007-09, receiving at least partial signing credit for Jenrry Mejia, Gonzalez Germen and Jeurys Familia, three righties on the Mets’ active roster. With the Indians since 2010, Pena has helped sign Top 30 Prospects such as middle infielders Dorssys Paulino, Ronny Rodriguez and Jose Ramirez and catcher Francisco Mejia

Brian Bridges, Marlins/Braves (eight)
Area Base: Rome, Ga. Current Role: Southeast crosschecker for Braves.

Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward

2010 Debuts: OF Jason Heyward (HS—McDonough, Ga.), RHP Craig Kimbrel (Wallace State (Ala.) CC) and LHP Mike Minor (Vanderbilt); plus RHP Steve Cishek (Carson-Newman (Tenn.)) from time with Marlins.
2012 Debuts: RHP J.J. Hoover (Calhoun (Ala.) CC).
2013 Debuts: OF Todd Cunningham (Jacksonville State), RHP Zeke Spruill (HS—Marietta, Ga.) and LHP Alex Wood (Georgia).

In addition to first-round hits Jason Heyward (2007) and Mike Minor (2009), Bridges also recommended quality arms outside the first round, such as Craig Kimbrel (third round, 2008) and Alex Wood (second, 2010). Prior to being bumped up to crosschecker, Bridges signed other prospects who are working their way through the system, including 2012 first-round righthander Lucas Sims, the organization’s preseason No.1 prospect, center fielder Kyle Wren and corner outfielder Robby Hefflinger.

Tom Kotchman, Angels (seven)

Johnny Hellweg
Johnny Hellweg

Area Base: Seminole, Fla. Current Role: Area scout for Red Sox.

2010 Debuts: RHP Bobby Cassevah (HS—Pace, Fla.) and RHP David Herndon (Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC).
2012 Debuts: LHP Barret Browning (Florida State), LHP Pat Corbin (Chipola (Fla.) JC), LHP Nick Maronde (Florida) and LHP Will Smith (Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC).
2013 Debuts: RHP Johnny Hellweg (Florida CC).

Kotchman excelled at finding pitchers for the Angels, but the best remaining player in the organization actually is big league second baseman Howie Kendrick, who signed out of junior college in 2002. Los Angeles leveraged three of Kotchman’s best pitching finds—Pat Corbin (second round, 2009), Johnny Hellweg (16th, 2008) and Will Smith (seventh, 2008)—in trades for Alberto Callaspo, Zack Greinke and Dan Haren.

Jose Serra, Cubs (seven)

Junior Lake
Junior Lake

Area Base: Dominican Republic. Current Role: D.R. area scout for Cubs.

2010 Debuts: C Welington Castillo, SS Starlin Castro and RHP Adalberto Mendez.
2011 Debuts: RHP Al Alburquerque and RHP Rafael Dolis.
2012 Debuts: RHP Alberto Cabrera.
2013 Debuts: OF Junior Lake.

Serra had a hand in signing all of the promising, young Dominican players who have debuted for the Cubs in the past few seasons, including Starlin Castro (who signed in 2006), Welington Castillo (2004) and Junior Lake (2007). Up next for Serra: top system prospects such as middle infielder Arismendy Alcantara (2008), third baseman Jeimer Candelario (2010) and outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the top talent on the 2013 international market who signed for $2.8 million.

Hal Kurtzman, Diamondbacks (six)

Trevor Bauer
Trevor Bauer

Area Base: Lake Balboa, Calif. Current Role: Area scout for Diamondbacks.

2010 Debuts: RHP Hector Ambriz (UCLA) and RHP Barry Enright (Pepperdine).
2011 Debuts: RHP Ryan Cook (Southern California).
2012 Debuts: RHP Trevor Bauer (UCLA) and 3B Ryan Wheeler (Loyola Marymount).
2013 Debuts: RHP Charles Brewer (UCLA).

The Diamondbacks have drafted many college players from Kurtzman’s area in single-digit rounds and seen them reach the big leagues, including Trevor Bauer (first round, 2011), Barry Enright (second, 2007), Hector Ambriz (fifth, 2006) and Ryan Wheeler (fifth, 2009). However, only Charles Brewer (12th, 2009) remains with the organization, after the other five were included in trades for, among others, Trevor Cahill, Didi Gregorius and Matt Reynolds.

Victor Mata, Yankees (six)

Ivan Nova
Ivan Nova

Area Base: Dominican Republic. Current Role: D.R. crosschecker for Yankees.

2010 Debuts: RHP Ivan Nova, SS Eduardo Nunez
2011 Debuts: 3B Jimmy Paredes, RHP Hector Noesi and RHP Jose Valdez
2012 Debuts: OF Melky Mesa

A rotation stalwart since 2011, Ivan Nova (signed in 2004) has logged more than 530 big league innings, making him Mata’s most prestigious debut of recent vintage. The Yankees kicked in Jimmy Paredes (2006) and Hector Noesi (2004), respectively, to acquire Lance Berkman and Michael Pineda in trades. Mata’s most accomplished signing might turn out to be catching prospect Gary Sanchez (2009), for whom he’s listed as co-signing scout, but he also helped procure reliever Jose Ramirez (2007) and third baseman Miguel Andujar (2011).

Junior Noboa, Diamondbacks (six)

Pedro Ciriaco
Pedro Ciriaco

Area Base: Dominican Republic. Current Role: Vice president of Latin American operations for D-backs.

2010 Debuts: SS Pedro Ciriaco, LHP Jordan Norberto and RHP Cesar Valdez.
2012 Debuts: LHP Leyson Septimo.
2013 Debuts: LHP Eury de la Rosa and OF Alfredo Marte.

Noboa is credited with signing much of the top international talent developed by the Diamondbacks—including Emilio Bonifacio, Miguel Montero, Vicente Padilla and Jose Valverde—and he also inked two of the system’s most promising current prospects, righty Jose Martinez (signed in 2011) and shortstop Sergio Alcantara (2012).

Chris Wimmer, Tigers (six)
Area Base: Yukon, Okla. Current Role: Area scout for Tigers.

Drew Smyly
Drew Smyly

2010 Debuts: LHP Andy Oliver (Oklahoma State) and RHP Robbie Weinhardt (Oklahoma State).
2011 Debuts: OF Andy Dirks (Wichita State).
2012 Debuts: LHP Drew Smyly (Arkansas) and RHP Thad Weber (Nebraska).
2013 Debuts: LHP Brian Flynn (Wichita State).

The Tigers entered the year entrusting two big league jobs to Wimmer signees—No. 5 starter Drew Smyly (second round, 2010) and left fielder Andy Dirks (eighth, 2008)—though the latter suffered a back injury and opened on the disabled list. Detroit used another of Wimmer’s signees, southpaw Brian Flynn (seventh, 2011), to acquire Anibal Sanchez from the Marlins at the 2012 trade deadline. On the prospect front, Wimmer recommended elite defensive catcher James McCann, who currently plays at Triple-A Toledo. As to Wimmer’s background, he played at Wichita State (and Tigers VP of amateur scouting David Chadd coached there), giving him a strong feel for the area.

Now we present the true volume dealers of the scouting community, those who have had three or more major league debuts since 2010. The Baseball America Directory provided the area listings for scouts.  

Scout Organization Area 2014 Org Debuts
Bill Buck Tigers Manassas, Va. Tigers 5
2B Will Rhymes, RHP Jay Sborz, 2B Scott Sizemore, C Max St. Pierre, OF Casper Wells
Scott Corman Rockies Lexington, Ky. Rockies 5
LHP Rex Brothers, LHP Christian Friedrich, C Michael McKenry, LHP Matt Reynolds, RHP Chaz Roe
Byron Ewing Indians Goodyear, Ariz. Reds 5
RHP Cory Burns, LHP John Gaub, RHP Preston Guilmet, 2B Jason Kipnis, LHP T.J. McFarland
Felix Feliz Rockies Dominican Republic Padres 5
RHP Sam Deduno, SS Hector Gomez, RHP Juan Nicasio, RHP Aneury Rodriguez, C Wilin Rosario
Jerry Flowers Reds Cypress, Texas Reds 5
LHP Tony Cingrani, SS Zack Cozart, LHP Donnie Joseph, RHP Zach Stewart, RHP Pedro Villarreal
Damon Iannelli Rockies Brandon, Miss. Rockies 5
OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Will Harris, RHP Alan Johnson, 2B Chris Nelson, SS Josh Rutledge
Tim Kissner Phillies Kirkland, Wash. Mariners 5
RHP Tyson Brunnett, C Travis d’Arnaud, RHP Justin De Fratus, OF Anthony Gose, RHP Vance Worley
Mike Leuzinger Pirates/Dodgers Canton, Texas Yankees 5
RHP Vic Black, OF Robbie Grossman, RHP Javy Guerra, LHP Tony Watson, RHP Duke Welker
Bob Mayer Indians Somerset, Pa. Indians 5
RHP Cody Allen, RHP Chris Archer, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, RHP Alex White, OF Brad Snyder
Tim McDonnell Marlins Westminster, Calif. Marlins 5
3B Matt Dominguez, LHP Edgar Olmos, OF Bryan Petersen, OF Giancarlo Stanton, OF Christian Yelich
Jim Robinson Red Sox Arlington, Texas Red Sox 5
LHP Drake Britton, 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Ryan Pressly, RHP Alex Wilson, RHP Brandon Workman
Mark Baca D-backs/Nationals Temecula, Calif. Nationals 4
SS Danny Espinosa, RHP Sergio Santos, RHP Daniel Stange, RHP Stephen Strasburg
Tony Blengino Brewers Magnolia, N.J. 4
LHP Zach Braddock, OF Darren Ford, LHP Steve Garrison, RHP Mark Rogers
Arnold Brathwaite Angels Grand Prairie, Texas Giants  4
RHP Ryan Brasier, RHP David Carpenter, RHP Garrett Richards, RHP Jordan Walden
Steve Cohen Phillies Spring, Texas Phillies  4
RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Kyle Drabek, C Cameron Rupp, LHP Joe Savery
Steve Connelly Royals Wilson, N.C. Blue Jays 4
LHP Chris Dwyer, RHP Greg Holland, SS Ed Lucas, OF Wil Myers
Patrick Guerrero Mariners Dominican Republic Dodgers  4
SS Juan Diaz, OF Carlos Peguero, SS Carlos Triunfel, RHP Michael Pineda
Lon Joyce Dodgers Spartanburg, S.C. Dodgers 4
RHP Ethan Martin, 3B Russ Mitchell, OF Jerry Sands, RHP Allen Webster
Ash Lawson Padres Athens, Tenn. Mets 4
LHP Andrew Albers, RHP Jon Link, C Luis Martinez, 2B Lance Zawadzki
John Leavitt Twins Garden Grove, Calif. Twins 4
RHP Alex Burnett, OF Aaron Hicks, OF Chris Parmelee, RHP Anthony Slama
Jose Leon Twins Venezuela Twins 4
OF Oswaldo Arcia, RHP Frank Mata, C Josmil Pinto, C Wilson Ramos
Lukas McKnight Cubs Gurnee, Ill. Cubs  4
OF Tony Campana, RHP Chris Carpenter, 3B Josh Harrison, LHP Chris Rusin
Scott Nichols Cardinals/Royals Richland, Miss. Brewers  4
RHP Louis Coleman, RHP Brandon Dickson, 2B Johnny Giavotella, 1B Mark Hamilton
Todd Thomas Giants Dallas Giants  4
1B Brandon Belt, RHP Steve Edlefsen, OF Roger Kieschnick, OF Juan Perez
Dean Albany Orioles Baltimore Orioles  3
RHP Zach Clark, OF L.J. Hoes, 1B Joe Mahoney
Tony Arango Nationals Davie, Fla. 3
RHP Taylor Jordan, 1B Chris Marrero, RHP Brad Peacock
Amador Arias White Sox Venezuela White Sox 3
SS Eduardo Escobar, C Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Greg Infante
Tony Arias Reds Miami Lakes, Fla. Reds 3
1B Yonder Alonso, 3B Henry Rodriguez, 1B Neftali Soto
Billy Best Braves Holly Springs, N.C. Braves  3
RHP Paul Clemens, 2B Phil Gosselin, RHP Deunte Heath
Matt Briggs Blue Jays Birmingham 3
C J.P. Arencibia, 2B Brad Emaus, RHP Chad Jenkins
Quincy Boyd Red Sox Harrisburg, N.C. Red Sox  3
OF Jackie Bradley, C Tim Federowicz, 1B Chris McGuiness
Robby Corsaro Marlins Victorville, Calif. Marlins  3
C Brad Davis, RHP Alex Sanabia, C Kyle Skipworth
Lane Decker Padres Piedmont, Okla. Padres  3
2B Logan Forsythe, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Burch Smith
Chuck Fick Cardinals Newbury Park, Calif. 3
3B Jermaine Curtis, RHP Fernando Salas, 1B Brett Wallace
Ricardo Finol Yankees Venezuela Yankees 3
RHP Carlos Monasterios, C Jesus Montero, OF Jose Tabata
Trey Forkerway Cubs Houston Cubs 3
RHP Andrew Cashner, LHP Brooks Raley, LHP James Russell
Ryan Fox Nationals Yakima, Wash. Blue Jays 3
2B Jeff Kobernus, C Derek Norris, RHP Drew Storen
Al Goetz Braves Duluth, Ga. 3
RHP Jaye Chapman, RHP Cory Gearrin, RHP Cory Rasmus
Charlie Gonzalez Cardinals Weston, Fla. Cardinals 3
C Tony Cruz, OF Jon Jay, LHP Kevin Siegrist
John Gracio Angels Mesa, Ariz. Angels  3
OF Peter Bourjos, OF Kole Calhoun, SS Andrew Romine
Joel Grampietro Blue Jays Tampa White Sox 3
RHP Drew Hutchison, SS Tyler Pastornicky, RHP Daniel Webb
Tim Grieve Tigers New Braunfels, Texas Tigers 3
C Bryan Holaday, RHP Chance Ruffin, RHP Kevin Whelan
Ernie Jacobs Red Sox/Orioles Wichita Orioles  3
RHP Dylan Bundy, LHP Tommy Hottovy, LHP Kris Johnson
Aaron Krawiec Cardinals Gilbert, Ariz. Cardinals 3
RHP Michael Blazek, RHP Brian Broderick, 3B Matt Carpenter
Benny Latino Rays/Mets Hammond, La. Marlins 3
LHP Robert Carson, 1B Rhyne Hughes, RHP Josh Stinson
Steve Lemke Yankees Geneva, Ill. Yankees 3
RHP George Kontos, LHP Zach Kroenke, RHP Zach McAllister
Dave Lottsfeldt Padres Denver Padres  3
OF Jaff Decker, 2B Eric Sogard, LHP Josh Spence
Scott Lovekamp Yankees Lynchburg, Va. Yankees 3
3B David Adams, RHP D.J. Mitchell, RHP Adam Warren
Joel Matthews Marlins Concord, N.C. Marlins 3
RHP Chris Hatcher, OF Kevin Mattison, OF John Raynor
Darren Mazeroski Pirates Panama City Beach, Fla. Pirates 3
RHP Phil Irwin, RHP Kyle McPherson, OF Alex Presley
Tim McIlvaine Brewers Tampa Brewers 3
RHP Hiram Burgos, 2B Scooter Gennett, RHP Jeremy Jeffress
Marlin McPhail Mets Irmo, S.C. Mets  3
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Collin McHugh
Marty Miller Tigers Chicago Tigers  3
LHP Casey Crosby, C Chris Robinson, RHP Jacob Turner
Rob Mummau Mariners Stephens City, Va. Mariners  3
2B Dustin Ackley, 2B Kyle Seager, C Mike Zunino (Area: Palm Harbor, Fla.)
Les Pajari Indians Angora, Minn. Indians  3
RHP Matt Langwell, SS Josh Rodriguez, RHP Neil Wagner
Rolando Pino Cubs Pembroke Pines, Fla. Red Sox 3
LHP Jeff Beliveau, RHP Casey Coleman, LHP Darin Downs
Derrick Ross Tigers/Indians Lake Orion, Mich. —  3
OF Jeff Frazier, RHP Josh Judy, RHP Zach Putnam
Rob St. Julien Blue Jays Lafayette, La. Blue Jays 3
LHP Evan Crawford, RHP Danny Farquhar, LHP Aaron Loup
Rob Sidwell Padres/Pirates Windermere, Fla. Dodgers 3
RHP Miles Mikolas, RHP Todd Redmond, OF Blake Tekotte
Hilario Soriano Blue Jays Dominican Republic Mets  3
RHP Joel Carreno, LHP Luis Perez, OF Moises Sierra