I woke up this morning to find baseball Twitter abuzz with some big news: The Minnesota Twins hired John Manuel to join their pro-scouting department. The buzz wasn’t all just from Twins fans either, but a whole spectrum of baseball people.
good luck to john. twins got a good one. https://t.co/c8krVFxjLm— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 17, 2017
Pretty amazed that the Twins hired John Manuel, that's a big name and a helluva get— Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA) October 17, 2017
This guy now works for the Minnesota Twins' scouting department which is super rad. https://t.co/30H5YmNWnx— Parker Hageman (@ParkerHageman) October 17, 2017
Congrats to fellow Heel @johnmanuelba on his new gig with the Twins. Minnesota is getting a good one.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) October 17, 2017
Baseball America's longtime editor-in-chief @johnmanuelba is leaving to join the Twins' scouting department. Helluva hire by Derek Falvey.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) October 17, 2017
If you’re not familiar with John Manuel, he is (or was?) the Editor in Chief for Baseball America and a long time baseball journalist. Baseball America focuses on in-depth coverage particularly of college baseball, minor leagues, prospects, and the MLB draft. Manuel started there as a journalist back in 1996, and is known as an expert in those areas, having written countless articles, spoken on podcasts, served as a college baseball color analyst, so on and so forth.
Now, is it unusual for a career journalist to become a baseball scout? Not really, especially not in this day in age. More than a handful of Baseball America and other internet baseball writers writers have recently gone on to find jobs in baseball front offices. In fact, Derek Falvey hired several Baseball America alumni while working for the Indians, which is how Falvey and Manuel first made a connection.
According to a Facebook post by Manuel, Falvey recently called him up for leads on possible scouting hires. Manuel himself suggested the Twins hire him.
This hire is unexpected, but I also love it. Manuel obviously has a ton of connections that can be an asset to the front office—I mean, our Chief Baseball Officer was calling him for advice, not the other way around. His knowledge of prospects all-around is undeniable, and he clearly has a desire for the job (he asked for it). I don’t think writing reports on prospects for the public, versus writing them for the Twins front office specifically, is too big of a jump. Heck, Manual may have a new and different approach to things that would put the Twins ahead of the pack.
Hopefully this hire means the Twins do even better in next year’s draft than they did in this year’s draft, and beyond.