Matt Skirving Goes From the Field to the Front Office in a Short Time

In the 2010 draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates took Matt Skirving in the 30th round. The 20-year-old catcher was playing at Eastern Michigan, where he battled through injuries during his junior season. That was after putting up big numbers as a sophomore, when he posted a 1.079 OPS in 57 games. Skirving quickly signed after the draft and reported to State College, where he hit .217/.286/.292 in 43 games.

He returned to the NYPL the next year and put up better numbers, while splitting his time between catching and first base. Skirving hit .277/.344/.434 in 48 games. That was as far as he would get in the Pirates’ system as a player, but in a short time since his playing days ended, Skirving has worked his way into the Pirates’ front office, where he currently works as the Coordinator for Amateur Scouting.

After his release in March of 2012, Skirving took advantage of an opportunity that many players pass up after their playing days.

“I was released in the Spring of 2012, went back to school to finish my degree using MLB’s College Scholarship Plan and was fortunate enough to remain in contact with some in our organization, who knew I had a goal of getting back into baseball,” Skirving said.

After receiving that degree, he decided to take a job as the Amateur Scouting Fellow with the Pirates. For a basic idea of a Fellow position, check this link here from Baseball Prospectus, though the job could differ slightly from organization to organization.

Skirving served in that role for 18 months until he received a promotion to his current position this off-season. Now 26 years old, he’s moved up quickly through the system and looks forward to helping the team maintain their current string of success.

“Right now, I’m just trying to focus on doing everything I can to put us in a position to be successful in every facet of the game for the 2016 season and beyond,” Skirving said.

You don’t often see a former player go that quickly from the field to a front office position, but Skirving learned a lot from his time as a player, went back to school, then returned to the team for a second opportunity in baseball. He credits the people in the Pirates’ system with his growth both on and off the field.

“I can say that being a Pirate has been a tremendous experience. Many different members of this organization have had an immeasurable impact on my life, personally and professionally as both a player and now a member of the amateur scouting department. There are a number of people, too many to name, who have played a significant role in my continual growth/development.”

  • The Matt Skirving story is very solid – thank you for sharing it. He’s a former Catcher, so the story is even better. It takes a real self-starter to achieve what he set out to do, and I am sure that attitude was a key to the Pirates.

    I had never heard of the MLB Scholarship Program. I remember when teams signed HS kids and would always include the commitment to cover 4 years of a college education, but this is an excellent benefit that pays dividends back to the players and, in this case, to the team, and MLB.

  • Great story, thanks John.

  • Such a great story.

  • Nice – good job going back to school. Now go out and scout like hell so we can get the best talent at the lowest price! Being efficient and effective.

  • Very cool story. Thanks.

  • Good for him. This path will keep him in baseball, whereas taking his game to an independent league would only delay the inevitable and could end with a career at Wal-Mart.

  • This is the sort of story that warms the cockles of one’s heart. Let’s go Buccos!

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