The Twins have hired longtime Baseball America editor John Manuel and added him to their pro scouting department, Manuel announced yesterday (on Facebook). The Twins later confirmed the hiring, as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey suggests to Bollinger that the team has no intention of cutting its scouting department despite a notably increased emphasis on analytics. “We’ve talked a lot about staff enhancement and continuing to build out,” said Falvey. “We’ll do that with different voices with advances in video scouting and live scouting. We have a good number of pro scouts, but we’re looking to add to it. It’s not our expectation to have fewer people in the field.”
Manuel has spent more than two decades at BA and has been the publication’s editor-in-chief for more than half that time. As someone who owns a mountain of BA Prospect Handbooks and has had an active BA subscription for a decade or so now, I can earnestly say that his work will be missed. Congrats to John, and best wishes in his new role with the Twins.
A few more notes out of the AL Central…
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star welcomed former Royals beat writer Bob Dutton onto his podcast this week, and the two discussed a wide variety of topics, including several looks back to the Royals of the early 2000s. Royals fans will want to check out the entire podcast, but the portion that takes a retrospective look at some historic Royals trades undoubtedly will have a broader appeal to all baseball fans. Dutton recalls details of the trades of Royals stars Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye and provides an inside look at each of those deals. Perhaps most notably, he recounts the story of Beltran, with whom the Royals had reached a tentative agreement on a three-year deal that never came to fruition after it was presented to ownership. That spring, the Royals and Rangers were discussing a swap of Beltran for Michael Young and Hank Blalock when Beltran suffered an oblique injury, per Dutton. It’s a fascinating look back in transaction history, and I’d recommend a full listen to any who read this. This also makes for an appropriate place to wish Dutton the best in his retirement from the beat; Dutton provided outstanding coverage of the Royals for years before joining the Mariners’ beat with the Tacoma News Tribune earlier this decade. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him in person but have admired his excellent work for years. Best wishes to Bob from those of us at MLBTR.
- White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler was a guest host for a pair of White Sox Inbox columns at MLB.com, during which he answered a slew of questions on player evaluation, a day in the life of a scouting director, amateur draft philosophies and the upcoming Rule 5 Draft in December. Hostetler states that he has full confidence in Tim Anderson’s ability to develop into a plus defender at shortstop and also talked about top prospect Zack Collins’ improvements both at the plate and behind the plate as a catcher. Hostetler also notes that GM Rick Hahn and assistant GM Jeremy Haber are constantly working to maintain roster flexibility should a strong opportunity present itself in the Rule 5 Draft.