Women In Baseball: Brit Minder Embraces Her Role In Twins Scouting Department
Brit Minder loves the perspective that in-person scouting brings.
The Twins’ coordinator of amateur scouting got her start with Minnesota seven years ago as an administrative assistant to the entire scouting department, where her role revolved around support. With progression and promotion, Minder transitioned into a more empowered role, helping the team’s evolution from a basic internal system to something much more advanced, its creation enveloping a large piece of her position.
But the most significant change to her current role has been in venturing out to games and having an opportunity to scout.
“The reason was twofold,” Minder said. “I wanted to learn these things and thought I could be a value add given my playing experience and also my office experience—having some understanding being around conversations in the office and the way we think about risk and projecting players.
“And the second thing was that as I was helping to build (the system), working with our developers, or as I’m talking with HR or accounting or the medical staff, I didn’t know what it felt like to be a scout, so I was missing half the conversation. I really wanted to start scouting to inform and improve my office abilities and responsibilities and all of the things I do here.”
In her scouting role, Minder loves bringing different pieces of the puzzle into the process. She acknowledges that this is not a novel idea, but it is her favorite part.
“I like to go in with fresh eyes, see the player, write everything down that I think of—I write down a lot more stuff than most folks—and then I’ll go in and look at the questionnaires,” she said. “I’ll formulate ideas and theories on why is this happening, then I’ll look at the questionnaires and see maybe there was a grip change, or maybe his grandmother was (ill) in this period. There are a lot of causes for things that maybe we attribute to something else.”
Beyond evaluation, Minder’s job revolves around the draft. Each January, as the department is preparing for the college season and in-person evaluation, she looks ahead to the upcoming selection process, working as a go-between for everyone from medical staff to the commissioner’s office. After each draft, Minder’s job turns to looking back at what happened, what could have been done better, compiling information, and creating a path forward.
“Then there’s the actual draft, which is like an 11-day wedding,” she said.
This year’s draft is a whole new adventure, with Minder battling the unknowns of whether the department might be able to gather the 45 or so people who are usually in the draft room, work virtually through the process, or somewhere in between—and plan for all three.
“We also have to think about the culture of a draft room, and having an understanding of what people do between the times they’re working, and a lot of it relates to camaraderie,” Minder said. “A lot of that is talking about things that happen in the room that they didn’t like or have different thoughts about; there’s that undercurrent . . . That’s really challenging, trying to re-create some of the things that happen in the draft room, and the feelings.”
Adding to the excitement and challenges of this year’s draft for Minder and her counterparts are the truncated minor league season, fewer affiliated teams and added depth to the available talent because of last year’s shortened draft and added eligibility for college players.
“There has to be a clear picture of what you are and what you can add in this draft,” she said. “That’s challenging, and it takes some agency away from the scouts because we do have a more analytically driven approach for (lower-tiered) guys where you would insert the scouting feel and where that makes the difference . . . The bar has to be higher and you have to be more realistic, which is hard. Scouts are natural gamblers.”