Jeff Luhnow Leads Scouting Directors With 21 Opening Day Players For 2013
Of the 750 players on Opening Day rosters, 572 of them (76 percent) came through the draft. The players range from the 1988 draft (Blue Jays lefthander Darren Oliver, originally picked by the Rangers) to the 2012 draft (Dodgers lefthander Paco Rodriguez). From a round standpoint, there’s No. 1 overall picks such as Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer, Justin Upton, Luke Hochevar, David Price, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, to a 50th rounder such as Jarrod Dyson.
But I was curious about which scouting directors had the most players on Opening Day rosters. With the help of Baseball America technology manager Brent Lewis, and Baseball America's Executive Database, I discovered that the 572 drafted players are the product of 93 different scouting directors. Here are the men with 10 or more draft picks on Opening Day rosters, with the players listed in chronological order from when they were drafted.
Jeff Luhnow (21)
Colby Rasmus, Jaime Garcia, Mitchell Boggs, Adam Ottavino, Allen Craig, Chris Perez, Jon Jay, Luke Gregerson, Shane Robinson, Clayton Mortensen, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, Tony Cruz, Brett Wallace, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Ryan Jackson, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal.
Luhnow was scouting director for the Cardinals from 2005-11, and was responsible for drafting many of the players on the team’s 2011 World Series team. He is now the general manager for the Astros.
David Chadd (18)
Brandon Moss, Jon Lester, David Murphy, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Burke Badenhop, Cameron Maybin, Matt Joyce, Andrew Miller, Brennan Boesch, Casey Fien, Scott Sizemore, Charlie Furbush, Rick Porcello, Alex Avila, Andy Dirks, Drew Smyly and Rob Brantly.
Chadd was the scouting director in Boston from 2002-04 before taking the same role in Detroit from 2005-2011. He is still with the Tigers, and still oversees the draft, but his promotion to vice president of amateur acouting/special assistant to the general manager allowed Scott Pleis to take over as the Tigers’ scouting director. In 2010, Jim Callis named Chadd the best scouting director in the game.
Roy Clark (18)
Adam LaRoche, Adam Wainwright, Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francoeur, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, Jordan Schafer, Tommy Hanson, Tyler Flowers, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Locke, Kris Medlen, Cory Gearrin, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, J.J. Hoover and Mike Minor.
Talk about star power--most of these players are everyday players, and four have already been all-stars with the potential for a couple more. Plus, this list would look a lot better if guys like Brian McCann and Jonny Venters didn’t start the season on the disabled list. Clark was the Braves’ scouting director from 2000-09 before moving on to Washington, where he now serves as the team’s assistant general manager and is heavily involved in the draft.
Dana Brown (17)
Jim Henderson, Ian Desmond, Craig Stammen, John Lannan, Justin Maxwell, Marco Estrada, Ryan Zimmerman, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Steve Lombardozzi, Tommy Milone, Tyler Moore, Drew Storen and Stephen Strasburg.
Brown was the scouting director for the Expos and Nationals from 2002-09, often working with skeleton budgets and small staffs. He now works as a special assistant to the general manager in Toronto.
Eric Kubota (17)
Jared Burton, Joe Blanton, John Baker, Nick Swisher, Andre Ethier, Huston Street, Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Webb, Anthony Recker, Cliff Pennington, Justin Sellers, Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill, Sean Doolittle, Tyson Ross, Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin.
Kubota has been the scouting director for the Athletics since 2002. Not surprisingly, 15 of the 17 players on this list were drafted out of college. The only two plucked out of high school were Ryan Webb and Trevor Cahill.
Bill Schmidt (17)
Clint Barmes, Jayson Nix, Jeff Baker, Jeff Francis, Eric Young, Ryan Mattheus, Chris Iannetta, Chris Nelson, Dexter Fowler, Seth Smith, Xavier Cedeno, Troy Tulowitzki, Mike McKenry, Jordan Pacheco, Matt Reynolds, Rex Brothers and Josh Rutledge.
Schmidt is the longest-tenured scouting director, and 2013 is his 14th year in charge of the Rockies drafts.
Chris Buckley (16)
Brandon League, Erik Kratz, Aaron Hill, Ryan Roberts, Chris Heisey, Chris Valaika, Drew Stubbs, Josh Roenicke, Justin Turner, Devin Mesoraco, Jeremy Horst, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Dave Sappelt, Yonder Alonso and Mike Leake.
Buckley was scouting director for the Blue Jays from 2001-03 and has been making draft picks for the Reds since 2006.
Ron Hopkins (16)
Ian Kinsler, Scott Feldman, John Mayberry, Michael Kirkman, Taylor Teagarden, Chris Davis, Craig Gentry, Derek Holland, Blake Beavan, Julio Borbon, Mitch Moreland, Tommy Hunter, Cody Eppley, Justin Smoak, Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers.
Hopkins was the scouting director for the Rangers from 2003-09. He spent 2012 as a national crosschecker for the Orioles and now works as a major league scout for the Pirates.
Bill Gayton (15)
George Kottaras, Steve Delabar, Brandon Kintzler, Cesar Ramos, Mike Baxter, Nick Hundley, Will Venable, Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc, Dylan Axelrod, Eric Sogard, Jeremy Hefner, Anthony Bass, Brad Brach and Nate Freiman.
This group is the definition of quantity over quality, though Gayton’s group would look a lot better if third basemen Chase Headley and David Freese didn’t start the season on the DL. The Padres were very college-heavy under Gayton--all 15 players at least went to JC, with Latos a prep draftee signed as a draft-and-follow--but his most notable picks were prep busts Matt Bush (No. 1 overall in 2004) and Donavan Tate (No. 3 overall in 2009, $6.25 million bonus). He was scouting director for the Padres from 2001-09, and now works as an assistant to GM Kevin Towers in Arizona, who was also his boss in San Diego.
Mike Radcliff (15)
A.J. Pierzynski, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Duensing, Kevin Slowey, Chris Parmelee, Tyler Robertson and Ben Revere.
Radcliff was scouting director for the Twins from 1994-2007, and still works with the team as the vice president of player personnel. His draft list also includes two righthanders currently on the DL for the Cubs: Scott Baker and Matt Garza.
Jack Zduriencik (14)
J.J. Hardy, Manny Parra, Prince Fielder, Tom Wilhelmsen, Carlos Corporan, Rickie Weeks, Lorenzo Cain, Yovani Gallardo, Michael Brantley, Ryan Braun, Jeremy Jeffress, Jonathan Lucroy, Logan Schafer and Lucas Luetge.
Zduriencik was the scouting director for the Pirates from 1991-93, though none of those players who made the big leagues are still active. He was scouting director for the Brewers from 2000-08 and is now the GM for the Mariners. His draft picks also includes two key players starting the season on the DL: Brewers outfielder Corey Hart and Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie.
Stan Meek (13)
Josh Johnson, Robert Andino, Jason Vargas, Chris Leroux, Chris Volstad, Gaby Sanchez, Alex Sanabia, Chris Coghlan, Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Dominguez, Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos and Jose Fernandez.
Meek has been the Marlins scouting director since 2002 and his list also includes Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison, who started the season on the DL.
Dick Tidrow (13)
Jason Grilli, Cody Ransom, Ryan Vogelsong, Jerome Williams, Kevin Correia, Matt Cain, Nate Schierholtz, Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Frandsen, Sergio Romo, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Nick Noonan.
Tidrow's strength has always been pitching, and his drafts reflect that. As scouting director for the Giants from 1997-2007, the only position players he drafted who have accumulated more than 1 WAR are: Fred Lewis, Travis Ishikawa and Schierholtz. Even most of the successful players Tidrow drafted, who aren't active or are no longer in the big leagues, are pitchers: Scott Linebrink, Kurt Ainsworth, Boof Bonser, Brad Hennessey, Noah Lowry, Clay Hensley, David Aardsma and Brian Wilson. Tidrow still works for the Giants as an assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel, and is still involved with their drafts.
Tim Wilken (13)
Michael Young, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Brandon Lyon, Reed Johnson, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Samardzija, Steve Clevenger, James Russell, Josh Donaldson, Andrew Cashner, Josh Harrison and Ryan Flaherty.
Wilken was the Blue Jays scouting director from 1996-2000, spent a year as the Devil Rays scouting director in 2005, and then was the Cubs scouting director from 2006-12. The Cubs’ new front office has brought in their own guys to run the drafts, but Wilken is still involved in all aspects of the team’s scouting as a special assistant to president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer.
Ed Creech (12)
Jamey Carroll, Shane Victorino, Joel Hanrahan, Edwin Encarnacion, Paul Maholm, Tom Gorzelanny, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Brent Lillibridge, Steve Pearce, Jared Hughes and Tony Watson.
Creech was the scouting director for the Expos from 1994-97, the Cardinals in 1998, the Dodgers from 1999-2001, and then the Pirates from 2002-2007. He now works as a senior scouting advisor for the Giants.
Logan White (12)
Eric Stults, James Loney, James McDonald, Jonathan Broxton, Russell Martin, A.J. Ellis, Matt Kemp, Wesley Wright, Xavier Paul, Justin Ruggiano, Clayton Kershaw and Paco Rodriguez.
White was the Dodgers scouting director from 2002-06. He still oversaw the drafts in 2007-09, but Tim Hallgren was officially the team’s scouting director. White reclaimed that role as part of his duties in 2010.
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Bob Fontaine Jr. (11)
John Lackey, Mark Lowe, Matt Tuiasosopo, Michael Saunders, Anthony Varvaro, Brandon Morrow, Doug Fister, Phillippe Aumont, Shawn Kelley, Brandon Maurer and Josh Fields.
Fontaine grew up around scouting. His father drafted Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn and Will Clark, among many others. As a scouting director himself, Fontaine Jr. was with the Angels from 1987-1999, and then the Mariners from 2004-08. He now works as a professional scout for the Blue Jays.
Deric Ladnier (11)
Angel Sanchez, Zack Greinke, Mike Aviles, Billy Butler, J.P. Howell, Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer.
Ladnier was the scouting director for the Royals from 2001-08, and now works as special assistant to GM Mike Rizzo in Washington.
Jason McLeod (11)
Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Michael Bowden, Josh Reddick, Justin Masterson, Anthony Rizzo, Nick Hagadone, Ryan Pressly, Will Middlebrooks and Tim Federowicz.
McLeod was the Red Sox’s scouting director from 2005-09. He was an assistant general manager with the Padres in 2010 and 2011, and now works as the senior vice president of scouting and player development with the Cubs.
Duane Shaffer (11)
Mark Buehrle, Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Michael Morse, Gio Gonzalez, Lucas Harrell, Chris Carter, Chris Getz, Clayton Richard, Hector Santiago and Nate Jones.
Shaffer was the White Sox’s scouting director from 1991-2000, and then again from 2004-07. He now works as a major league scout for the Mariners.
Eddie Bane (10)
Jered Weaver, Mark Trumbo, Martin Maldonado, Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger, Jordan Walden, Andrew Romine, Garrett Richards, Mike Trout and Pat Corbin.
Bane was the Angels scouting director from 2004-10, and he now works as a special assistant in the Red Sox front office.
Damon Oppenheimer (10)
Austin Jackson, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, George Kontos, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Mark Melancon, Zach McAllister, David Phelps and Adam Warren.
Oppenheimer has been the Yankees’ scouting director since 2005.
Mike Rizzo (10)
Chad Tracy, Dan Uggla, Scott Hairston, Sergio Santos, Carlos Quentin, Mark Reynolds, Justin Upton, Brett Anderson, Hector Ambriz and Max Scherzer.
Before taking his job as Nationals GM, Rizzo was the Diamondbacks’ scouting director from 2000-06.