Restructuring Of Orioles Scouting Department Signals New Era Under Dan Duquette
Orioles Exec VP/Baseball Operations Dan Duquette's "vision for the club is coming into clearer focus, with news of a de-emphasis on physical scouting at the professional level, more resources poured into amateur scouting and the hiring of a Loyola University professor as an economic adviser to help quantify players' financial values to the team," according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore SUN. Duquette also has "orchestrated a fairly dramatic change in the scouting department." Six pro scouts -- including "former pro scouting director Lee MacPhail IV and advance scout Jim Thrift -- have been reassigned and offered jobs as regional amateur scouts." Orioles scouts Bruce Kison and Dave Engle, "who have major league responsibilities only, will remain in the same positions." But the pro scouts "who observe the minors and majors -- Ted Lekas, Jim Howard, James Keller and former Oriole Todd Frohwirth -- will now concentrate on amateurs." Duquette has also hired Loyola economics professor Stephen Walters "to be an economic adviser." Walters "left the same position with the Chicago Cubs to rejoin Duquette." Walters is "best known in baseball circles for making a numbers-based argument before the 2002 season on why the Red Sox should sign outfielder Johnny Damon." The Orioles also announced Friday that they have hired Danny Haas "as the organization's national cross-checker, meaning he will travel the country and provide additional looks and analysis on amateur players who interest regional scouts." Haas "had spent the past 10 seasons in amateur scouting with the Red Sox" (Baltimore SUN, 12/17). In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote Duquette has "begun to shake things up in the organization" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/18).