Funny how time changes perspectives.
Back in 2005, when he assumed leadership over scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals, outsider Jeff Luhnow was attacked by many from within the baseball establishment. Some media members also took sides in an internal political fray that ultimately took down general manager Walt Jocketty, calling the Cards executive “Harry Potter” and worse.
Six years later, Luhnow, who added player development to his responsibilities as well, had earned his credentials through hard work, hiring the right people and making good selections in the draft. Many players signed and developed during his era became solid major league contributors.
As a result, others took notice. In late 2011, Luhnow was hired as the general manager of the Houston Astros. His replacement in St. Louis for his scouting role, Dan Kantrovitz, continued to keep the Cardinals draft machine on course for the next three years.
Kantrovitz came into the job with a varied portfolio of experiences, starting with being a local product, a former player with an Ivy League education, an advanced degree in statistics, business experience as well as prior scouting and international experience with the Cardinals and Oakland A’s.
Replacing Kantrovitz as Cardinals scouting director was the club’s director of baseball development, Chris Correa. The 33-year-old has six seasons of experience in statistical analysis with St. Louis after earning his Masters in Psychology.
Correa’s skill base is clearly on the analytics side as he does not appear to have either been a player or scout in the past. Further, his baseball and business experience seems to be entirely with the Cardinals.
Yet with systems already in place, a strong support staff and a boss in GM John Mozeliak who once was a young scouting director himself, Correa should have access to all the tools necessary to be successful.
With over six months of preparation ahead, his first real test will be in the June 2015 draft.
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