Earlier this week, Robert Murray of The Athletic reported that the Milwaukee Brewers were in the process of shaking up their scouting department and moving on from evaluators on both the professional and amateur side of the organization. Today, Murray identified three long-term members of the department who were let go, one pro scout and two amateur scouts:
#Brewers dismissed pro scouting crosschecker Ryan Thompson, regional supervisor Brian Sankey and area scout Dan Huston, sources tell The Athletic. Other changes possible.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 17, 2019
According to his Linkedin page, Thompson was hired by the Brewers as a pro scout during the Doug Melvin era back in January 2010. He spent seven years in that position until he promoted to cross-checker in September 2017.
Brian Sankey began as a scout with the Brewers in 2006. Some players he signed during his tenure with the org that went on to the big leagues include Jonathan Lucroy, Lucas Luetge, Nate Orf, and Anthony Banda.
Dan Huston has been a scout with Milwaukee since at least 2010, and examples of players that he signed include Tyrone Taylor and Jake Gatewood.
What this, and moves that may yet still be made, means for the long-term direction of the scouting department is unclear at this time. But given the background of David Stearns with the Houston organization, it stands to reason that this could be the beginning of a shrinking of the department. Under the direction of Jeff Luhnow, who was Stearns’ boss for three years before David came to Milwaukee, Houston has been paring back the amount of actual scouts that they employ and send out around the country, instead relying more heavily on video scouting and growing analytics department. Many other organizations around the league have followed suit.
Milwaukee hasn’t exactly had a ton of success in the draft over the past four years since Slingin’ Stearns took over, with only Corbin Burnes and Keston Hiura having advanced to the big leagues and with varying levels of success. High-round or big-bonus picks like Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg, Chad McClanahan, and Caden Lemons haven’t really developed as hoped to this point, and of course the jury is still out on young players like Brice Turang, Joe Gray, Micah Bello, and all of the 2019 draft class. We’ll have to stay tuned and see if the Brewers will indeed become the latest org to eschew the old-school, boots-on-the-ground scouting methods.