The Detroit Tigers have a new leader in the scouting department.
News broke on Tuesday that the Detroit Tigers were able to pick up a new Vice President and Assistant General Manager in, Rob Metzler. They hired him away from the Tampa Bay Rays organization, bringing him in to serve under the President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris.
After a flurry of firings and a “mutual” parting of ways with former executives, the Detroit Tigers have a new leader on the scouting side. They let go of Scott Pleis and have wasted no time filling his role. This likely means there will be some changes up and down the team’s scouting staff, as is expected with changes at the top.
MCB Co-Expert Matthew Scheidel detailed the announcement that Metzler was hired yesterday, but let’s take a deeper look at things that can be expected to change under Metzler’s watch. There are a couple of different things that stand out immediately.
Metzler spent 15 years with the Rays organization. According to the Ilitch Companies press release, Metzler was the Senior Director of Amateur Scouting. His focus was the draft process which the Tigers will benefit from immediately.
Harris addressed the media on Tuesday and explained his intentions. Metzler’s hiring is just the first of a cluster. Metzler will have a Scouting Director who will work underneath him and handle those responsibilities to allow Metzler to focus on the bigger picture with amateur scouting, both domestic and international.
But even as a Vice President and Assistant General Manager, there is still an intention from Harris to go out and hire a General Manager. It’s another reason this hire will continue to bring benefit to the Tigers organization.
While a General Manager would rank above Metzler, Harris is beginning to build his foundation at the top of the front office. If he can bring in front-office minds, who can excel in each of these different areas to breed a three-headed monster (scouting, player development, ops), things will continue moving in the right direction.
Metzler would be at the top of the scouting side of things with a Director below him and General Manager above him, with communication between all three allowing Harris to have several executives at his disposal to help him find ways to build a winner.
Not to mention, the Rays have excelled at player acquisition and finding talent. Metzler was a part of that culture and made some of those decisions to help build the Rays. He excels in the scouting aspect and understands the advanced metrics and analytics that front offices take into account today.
The Rays are a progressive organization that uses a plethora of data to make decisions and evaluate players internally and externally. If Metzler can bring this dual-threat mindset to the Tigers organization, there has to be a lot to like with the direction they can go in.
The Tigers can only hope he can bring some of the good things the Rays are doing to the table to help Harris forge the “Tigers way” of doing things. It’s one of the things Harris wants to get done with this Tigers organization.
While he may have a ways to go with building out his staff, Metzler’s hire is just another sign of good things to come. It’s going to be a long winter but a good one for the Tigers organization.