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Jim Furtado
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Scouts Newsbeat

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Why Are Baseball’s Scouts Considered an “Endangered Species”?

You label the scouts “an endangered species.” Why?

Because so many of the new owners come out of the hedge fund business. Steve Cohen, owner of the New York Mets, is a great example, but there’s also Bruce Sherman, who owns the Miami Marlins. You go down the list, and they made their money leveraging algorithms and all that. Starting with statisticians like Bill James and, later, Theo Epstein, franchise managers today think in very economic terms, focusing on numbers. But baseball is a relationship game. That’s why scouts are being threatened. When Moneyball came out, it cost a couple hundred scouts or more their jobs. But, again, good organizations will understand the importance of people who actually watch the games — the ones that win, like the Yankees, who still have not laid off that many scouts. The Houston Astros actually added scouts last year. One thing you have to accept with a deep sigh is that owners are never going to change. You can’t buy a pennant. I think Cohen’s gonna find that out.

What are baseball people, like these statisticians you mentioned, missing when they don’t hire scouts or acknowledge their work?

I go back to an old saying: God gave you two ears and two eyes and only one mouth. That means “listen” and “keep your eyes open” and watch. You can’t see the talent to the fullest extent on video. You can see how hard someone throws, but does the pitcher’s pitches move? Does he change speeds? It doesn’t matter how hard a pitcher throws, a Major League hitter’s gonna hit it, especially if it’s straight. You can throw your arm out, too, if you just try and throw hard, which happens so often.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 05, 2023 at 03:14 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: scouts

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

LAT:  Ralph Avila, who helped Dodgers develop a pipeline in Latin America, dies at 92

Ralph Avila, an influential former Dodgers executive and scout who led the organization’s efforts to develop players in Latin America, particularly in the Dominican Republic, during his tenure from 1970 to 1999, died Monday at 92.


One of Avila’s biggest contributions was helping to create the Dodgers’ Campo Las Palmas academy in the Dominican Republic. The academy, which opened in 1987, was the first in the Dominican to be operated by a major league team — a productive template for player development that other clubs soon followed, turning the country into the biggest hot spot for big league talent outside of the United States.

Avila also helped sign dozens of majors leaguers during his time with the Dodgers, which ended with his retirement after the 1999 season.

Some of the most notable players Avila mentored included Dodgers pitching great Ramón Martinez (as well as his brother, three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez), former Dodgers outfielder Raúl Mondesí, former Dodgers infielder Mariano Duncan and many more.



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