Back in 2016, the Pittsburgh Pirates were prepared to graduate a very talented class of prospects to the majors, which helped their farm system to rate so highly in the previous years. The group included Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, and Adam Frazier.
Prior to that season, I started taking a deeper look at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ scouting department. There had been some early draft mistakes by the Pirates, specifically the 2009 draft. In my analysis at the time, I noticed that the Pirates had overhauled their scouting department not long after that draft. The scouts with the bad track records were let go, and the scouts who consistently made solid picks remained.
The “solid picks” are largely based on national talent rankings, rather than the help that was provided to the Pirates. The former is unbiased, looking at the same things scouts would look for. The latter is a result of the Pirates not being able to develop that talent to their full potential.
The Pirates have made a lot of changes to their amateur scouting department since that article. However, they’ve largely kept the core in place.
At the top level, Joe DelliCarri has been the Pirates scouting director since 2012, overseeing every draft since then.
At the National Supervisor level, they’ve had the combo of Jack Bowen and Jimmy Lester for years. Bowen was named to the role at the start of Neal Huntington’s tenure in 2008. Lester joined him in the role in 2010. Both remain in their positions today. The Pirates expanded to a third national crosschecker, adding Matt Ruebel for four years, before moving Ruebel to another position in 2016 and eliminating the third role.
The regional supervisor roles have also remained the same. Jesse Flores had been the long-time regional crosschecker for the West Coast, but just retired after the 2021 season. The Pirates have had Sean Heffernan (Southeast) and Trevor Haley (Midwest) as regional crosscheckers since 2016, when they promoted Rodney Harrison and Everett Russell to pro scouting jobs. Max Kwan joined that group as the Northwest supervisor in 2018, then was promoted to a different role. He currently serves as Assistant Director, Player Personnel, and the North doesn’t have a regional crosschecker.
Heffernan and Haley joined the Pirates as area scouts under Neal Huntington. Heffernan joined in 2012, while Haley joined early in 2008 and has been one of the best scouts in the organization. Kwan joined the organization in 2014 as an area scout, and was quickly promoted to a player development role.
The Pirates promoted other area scouts to different front office roles. Larry Broadway started off as an area scout, before being promoted to farm director in 2012. He’s one of few front office guys who remained in the organization after Neal Huntington and Kyle Stark were fired, and is currently the Pro Evaluation Team Leader. Brian Selman joined the organization as an area scout in 2012, was promoted to the player development staff in 2015, and is currently the Assistant Director, Coaching and Player Development – Strategic Initiatives.
Even with all of that movement, the Pirates have maintained some long-term area scouts.
The Pirates have kept Rick Allen, Matt Bimeal, and Darren Mazeroski since the end of the Dave Littlefield days. Those three have all been around since 2006, with the following names to their scouting profiles.
Rick Allen – Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, Kevin Kramer
Matt Bimeal – Mitch Keller, Jordy Mercer, Matt Hague
Darren Mazeroski – Adam Frazier, Clay Holmes, Alex Presley
The Huntington Overhaul
Neal Huntington really overhauled the scouting department after he took over, and five of the scouts from this time period still remain.
Scout – Year Added – Players
Brian Tracy – 2009 – Stetson Allie, Connor Joe, Jared Jones
Anthony Wycklendt – 2010 – Mel Rojas Jr., Quinn Priester, Matt Gorski
Jerry Jordan – 2011 – Austin Meadows, Alex Dickerson, Jack Hartman
Nick Presto – 2012 – Max Moroff, Braeden Ogle, Brad Case
Mike Sansoe – 2012 – Jordan Luplow, Blake Cederlind, Cody Bolton
The 2015 period saw the Pirates make some changes, as some higher front office people left, and the Pirates replaced them internally from the amateur scouting department. This brought in a new wave of scouts, with five still remaining from 2015-17.
Scout – Year Added – Players
Dan Radcliff – 2015 – Anthony Solometo, Lonnie White Jr., Max Kranick
Derrick Van Dusen – 2015 – Kevin Newman, Nick Gonzales, Matt Fraizer
Adam Bourassa – 2016 – Henry Davis, Jase Bowen, Shea Murray
Wayne Mathis – 2016 – Shane Baz, Jared Triolo, Stephen Alemais
Eddie Charles – 2017 – Michael Burrows, Owen Kellington, Joe Jacques
The Pirates have maintained consistency, for the most part. They’ve never had more than 16 area scouts, and half of their current area scouts have been in place since at least 2012. Five more have been in the system since 2015-17, leaving only a few new guys. The final three guys are made up of two Ben Cherington hires, and one final Neal Huntington hire.
Scout – Year Added – Players
Cam Murphy – 2019 – Bubba Chandler, Carmen Mlodzinski, Andres Alvarez
Brett Evert – 2020 – N/A
John Lombardo – 2021 – Jackson Glenn, Brenden Dixon
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
What Is Different About This Top Rated Pirates Farm System?
The Pirates Build: The Amateur Scouting Department
Demographics of the Pirates’ Prospects Over the Years — Positions
Williams: Walking and Chewing Gum
Carter Bins Has a Whole New Swing/Approach
Colin Selby Continues to Show Improvements After Recovering from Tommy John Surgery
Patience At The Plate Unlocks the Rest Of Sammy Siani’s Skillset
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.