With the 2014 MLB Draft upon us, we decided it would be fun to get to know some of the scouts within the White Sox organization that are key to the team's success.
Title: Amateur Scouting Director
Years with White Sox: 23
Top draftees signed: Mark Buerhle, Joe Crede, Chris Sale,
Favorite food: Pepperoni and mushroom pizza
Favorite movie: "The Longest Yard"
On my iPod: Elton John and other soft rock
Go-to quote: "Treat people like you wish they would trust you."
Favorite player to watch: Buddy Bell
Job if you weren't in baseball: Police officer
What immediate strikes you in a draftee: "It's the presence. It's that part of a person that exudes what their character is, what their confidence-level is, what their ability-level is. When I walk into a room and it's eight or 10 college players, I kind of feel something when I'm around the guy that's going to be the successful big league player. It's the way they handle themselves, it's the confidence-level. A lot of guys have ability and a lot have a lot of chatter and talk but there's something special you feel when you're around a big league guy."
Title: Amateur Scouting Director
Years with White Sox: 10
Top draftees signed: Chris Sale, Gordon Beckham, Daniel Hudson
Favorite meal: "Can't go wrong with a good steak."
Dream car: Range Rover
Listening to: Luke Bryan, Third Day?
Plane to anywhere: Dominican Republic
Favorite baseball player: Jim Thome, Mark Lewis
Key trait in a potential draftee: "How he interacts with his teammates. For me, do his teammates respect him, how he treats his parents, how he treats people around him. Because if your teammates don't like you, if you're a bad teammate, the chances of success are very slim."
Title: Area Scout, Southern California
Years with White Sox: 25
Top draftees signed: Mark Grace, Addison Reed, Trayce Thompson
Best player scouted: Mark Grace, Cole Hamels, Alan Trammell
Listening to: Frank Sinatra
Rank in Navy: retired as a captain after 30 years
Favorite country: Italy
Favorite meal: Perichini with an espresso afterward
What else might you have done: "I was going to be the mayor of Detroit."
Aspect of Naval career that has helped with scouting: "The recognition of players' and people's intent, just the observation. And of course the biggest thing is probably the art of negotiation. There's a lot of negotiating that goes on as a scout and I did a lot of that in the Navy. Also the leadership qualities of how to handle people and how to get along with them."
Title: National Cross Checker
Years with White Sox: 18
Top draftees signed: Mark Buerhle, Lucas Harrell, Clayton Richard, Ryan Sweeney
Bears or Packers?: Packers
Favorite Badger player: Chris Chelios
Airplane to anywhere: Cayman Islands
Listening to: Metallica, Queen, Van Halen with David Lee Roth. "No Sammy Hagar."
Must have on the road: Phone charger
Go-to meal: Pizza
First impression of Buerhle: "He pounded the strike zone, but initially was really short on velocity when I saw him in his first outing. My thought was there's a chance it could be enough, which was a draft and follow, which he turned out to be for us. Then I saw Mark at the end of the year and his velocity had picked up. ... He'd be a great (DNF) if he got bigger and stronger because he pounded the strike zone and he had a feel for his secondary pitches that we'd potentially be able to sign him that sophomore year."
Title: National Cross Checker (Hitting)
Years with White Sox: 28
Top draftees signed: Jack McDowell, Tom Fordham
Worst area for traffic: Brooklyn Bridge, 405 Freeway in Los Angeles
Favorite restaurants on road: The Angus Barn (Raleigh, N.C.), Carmine's (Chicago) The Elbow Room (Fresno, Ca.)
Favorite movie: "Shooter"
Coolest venue played in: Foothills Stadium, Calgary
Best player seen/played with: Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas, Brooks Robinson
Career if not baseball: Thoroughbred horse trainer
Hardest part of scouting: "Seeing these kids, if you haven't seen them during them summer, in the cold weather, especially a high school kid not facing the best competition in the world. The college kids, we have a little more background on them. We pretty much have a good base on them. But the high school kids are probably the toughest ones. I do 75 percent of my (high school) judgement on the summer. I see them with a wood bat, against good competition, good weather and I think there's a little more energy."
Title: National Cross Checker Pitching
Years with White Sox: 40
Top draftees signed: Chris Sale, Erik Johnson
Best guy played with: Richie Allen
Sports idol growing up: Al Kaline
Plane to anywhere: Australia
Listening to: Sirius Bridge, XM 32
In Chicago you have to try: Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse
Favorite quote: "Give it your best effort but stay within yourself."
What do you look for from pitchers: "I like to find ways for pitchers to get outs rather than how hard they throw. I look for other things like command, pitch ability and other pitches, changeups, and how important it is to be able to repeat your delivery for starters. Having my experience as a pitcher and pitching coach, trying to see in players where they can get better."