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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|1B Brandon Belt, RHP Steve Edlefsen, OF Roger Kieschnick, OF Juan Perez|
|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|
|RHP Carlos Monasterios, C Jesus Montero, OF Jose Tabata|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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