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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)

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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

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.  

ScoutOrganizationArea2014 OrgDebuts
Bill BuckTigersManassas, Va.Tigers5
2B Will Rhymes, RHP Jay Sborz, 2B Scott Sizemore, C Max St. Pierre, OF Casper Wells
Scott CormanRockiesLexington, Ky.Rockies5
LHP Rex Brothers, LHP Christian Friedrich, C Michael McKenry, LHP Matt Reynolds, RHP Chaz Roe
Byron EwingIndiansGoodyear, Ariz.Reds5
RHP Cory Burns, LHP John Gaub, RHP Preston Guilmet, 2B Jason Kipnis, LHP T.J. McFarland
Felix FelizRockiesDominican RepublicPadres5
RHP Sam Deduno, SS Hector Gomez, RHP Juan Nicasio, RHP Aneury Rodriguez, C Wilin Rosario
Jerry FlowersRedsCypress, TexasReds5
LHP Tony Cingrani, SS Zack Cozart, LHP Donnie Joseph, RHP Zach Stewart, RHP Pedro Villarreal
Damon IannelliRockiesBrandon, Miss.Rockies5
OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Will Harris, RHP Alan Johnson, 2B Chris Nelson, SS Josh Rutledge
Tim KissnerPhilliesKirkland, Wash.Mariners5
RHP Tyson Brunnett, C Travis d’Arnaud, RHP Justin De Fratus, OF Anthony Gose, RHP Vance Worley
Mike LeuzingerPirates/DodgersCanton, TexasYankees5
RHP Vic Black, OF Robbie Grossman, RHP Javy Guerra, LHP Tony Watson, RHP Duke Welker
Bob MayerIndiansSomerset, Pa.Indians5
RHP Cody Allen, RHP Chris Archer, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, RHP Alex White, OF Brad Snyder
Tim McDonnellMarlinsWestminster, Calif.Marlins5
3B Matt Dominguez, LHP Edgar Olmos, OF Bryan Petersen, OF Giancarlo Stanton, OF Christian Yelich
Jim RobinsonRed SoxArlington, TexasRed Sox5
LHP Drake Britton, 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Ryan Pressly, RHP Alex Wilson, RHP Brandon Workman
Mark BacaD-backs/NationalsTemecula, Calif.Nationals4
SS Danny Espinosa, RHP Sergio Santos, RHP Daniel Stange, RHP Stephen Strasburg
Tony BlenginoBrewersMagnolia, N.J.--4
LHP Zach Braddock, OF Darren Ford, LHP Steve Garrison, RHP Mark Rogers
Arnold BrathwaiteAngelsGrand Prairie, TexasGiants 4
RHP Ryan Brasier, RHP David Carpenter, RHP Garrett Richards, RHP Jordan Walden
Steve CohenPhilliesSpring, TexasPhillies 4
RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Kyle Drabek, C Cameron Rupp, LHP Joe Savery
Steve ConnellyRoyalsWilson, N.C.Blue Jays4
LHP Chris Dwyer, RHP Greg Holland, SS Ed Lucas, OF Wil Myers
Patrick GuerreroMarinersDominican RepublicDodgers 4
SS Juan Diaz, OF Carlos Peguero, SS Carlos Triunfel, RHP Michael Pineda
Lon JoyceDodgersSpartanburg, S.C.Dodgers4
RHP Ethan Martin, 3B Russ Mitchell, OF Jerry Sands, RHP Allen Webster
Ash LawsonPadresAthens, Tenn.Mets4
LHP Andrew Albers, RHP Jon Link, C Luis Martinez, 2B Lance Zawadzki
John LeavittTwinsGarden Grove, Calif.Twins4
RHP Alex Burnett, OF Aaron Hicks, OF Chris Parmelee, RHP Anthony Slama
Jose LeonTwinsVenezuelaTwins4
OF Oswaldo Arcia, RHP Frank Mata, C Josmil Pinto, C Wilson Ramos
Lukas McKnightCubsGurnee, Ill.Cubs 4
OF Tony Campana, RHP Chris Carpenter, 3B Josh Harrison, LHP Chris Rusin
Scott NicholsCardinals/RoyalsRichland, Miss.Brewers 4
RHP Louis Coleman, RHP Brandon Dickson, 2B Johnny Giavotella, 1B Mark Hamilton
Todd ThomasGiantsDallasGiants 4
1B Brandon Belt, RHP Steve Edlefsen, OF Roger Kieschnick, OF Juan Perez
Dean AlbanyOriolesBaltimoreOrioles 3
RHP Zach Clark, OF L.J. Hoes, 1B Joe Mahoney
Tony ArangoNationalsDavie, Fla.--3
RHP Taylor Jordan, 1B Chris Marrero, RHP Brad Peacock
Amador AriasWhite SoxVenezuelaWhite Sox3
SS Eduardo Escobar, C Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Greg Infante
Tony AriasRedsMiami Lakes, Fla.Reds3
1B Yonder Alonso, 3B Henry Rodriguez, 1B Neftali Soto
Billy BestBravesHolly Springs, N.C.Braves 3
RHP Paul Clemens, 2B Phil Gosselin, RHP Deunte Heath
Matt BriggsBlue JaysBirmingham--3
C J.P. Arencibia, 2B Brad Emaus, RHP Chad Jenkins
Quincy BoydRed SoxHarrisburg, N.C.Red Sox 3
OF Jackie Bradley, C Tim Federowicz, 1B Chris McGuiness
Robby CorsaroMarlinsVictorville, Calif.Marlins 3
C Brad Davis, RHP Alex Sanabia, C Kyle Skipworth
Lane DeckerPadresPiedmont, Okla.Padres 3
2B Logan Forsythe, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Burch Smith
Chuck FickCardinalsNewbury Park, Calif.--3
3B Jermaine Curtis, RHP Fernando Salas, 1B Brett Wallace
Ricardo FinolYankeesVenezuelaYankees3
RHP Carlos Monasterios, C Jesus Montero, OF Jose Tabata
Trey ForkerwayCubsHoustonCubs3
RHP Andrew Cashner, LHP Brooks Raley, LHP James Russell
Ryan FoxNationalsYakima, Wash.Blue Jays3
2B Jeff Kobernus, C Derek Norris, RHP Drew Storen
Al GoetzBravesDuluth, Ga.--3
RHP Jaye Chapman, RHP Cory Gearrin, RHP Cory Rasmus
Charlie GonzalezCardinalsWeston, Fla.Cardinals3
C Tony Cruz, OF Jon Jay, LHP Kevin Siegrist
John GracioAngelsMesa, Ariz.Angels 3
OF Peter Bourjos, OF Kole Calhoun, SS Andrew Romine
Joel GrampietroBlue JaysTampaWhite Sox3
RHP Drew Hutchison, SS Tyler Pastornicky, RHP Daniel Webb
Tim GrieveTigersNew Braunfels, TexasTigers3
C Bryan Holaday, RHP Chance Ruffin, RHP Kevin Whelan
Ernie JacobsRed Sox/OriolesWichitaOrioles 3
RHP Dylan Bundy, LHP Tommy Hottovy, LHP Kris Johnson
Aaron KrawiecCardinalsGilbert, Ariz.Cardinals3
RHP Michael Blazek, RHP Brian Broderick, 3B Matt Carpenter
Benny LatinoRays/MetsHammond, La.Marlins3
LHP Robert Carson, 1B Rhyne Hughes, RHP Josh Stinson
Steve LemkeYankeesGeneva, Ill.Yankees3
RHP George Kontos, LHP Zach Kroenke, RHP Zach McAllister
Dave LottsfeldtPadresDenverPadres 3
OF Jaff Decker, 2B Eric Sogard, LHP Josh Spence
Scott LovekampYankeesLynchburg, Va.Yankees3
3B David Adams, RHP D.J. Mitchell, RHP Adam Warren
Joel MatthewsMarlinsConcord, N.C.Marlins3
RHP Chris Hatcher, OF Kevin Mattison, OF John Raynor
Darren MazeroskiPiratesPanama City Beach, Fla.Pirates3
RHP Phil Irwin, RHP Kyle McPherson, OF Alex Presley
Tim McIlvaineBrewersTampaBrewers3
RHP Hiram Burgos, 2B Scooter Gennett, RHP Jeremy Jeffress
Marlin McPhailMetsIrmo, S.C.Mets 3
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Collin McHugh
Marty MillerTigersChicagoTigers 3
LHP Casey Crosby, C Chris Robinson, RHP Jacob Turner
Rob MummauMarinersStephens City, Va.Mariners 3
2B Dustin Ackley, 2B Kyle Seager, C Mike Zunino (Area: Palm Harbor, Fla.)
Les PajariIndiansAngora, Minn.Indians 3
RHP Matt Langwell, SS Josh Rodriguez, RHP Neil Wagner
Rolando PinoCubsPembroke Pines, Fla.Red Sox3
LHP Jeff Beliveau, RHP Casey Coleman, LHP Darin Downs
Derrick RossTigers/IndiansLake Orion, Mich.-- 3
OF Jeff Frazier, RHP Josh Judy, RHP Zach Putnam
Rob St. JulienBlue JaysLafayette, La.Blue Jays3
LHP Evan Crawford, RHP Danny Farquhar, LHP Aaron Loup
Rob SidwellPadres/PiratesWindermere, Fla.Dodgers3
RHP Miles Mikolas, RHP Todd Redmond, OF Blake Tekotte
Hilario SorianoBlue JaysDominican RepublicMets 3
RHP Joel Carreno, LHP Luis Perez, OF Moises Sierra


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