Kantrovitz To Cards; Geaney Steps In
There was a shift in the Oakland A's front office this week, as the team's director of international scouting, Dan Kantrovitz, left the team for a director position with the St. Louis Cardinals. Taking Kantrovitz's place in Oakland will be Sam Geaney, who was a coordinator in the scouting department before his promotion.
Since graduating from Cal, Geaney has moved up the ranks within the A's scouting department. He has held several roles, including video coordinator and scouting assistant. He got his start in the scouting world running his own website, CalLeaguers.com, that posted detailed scouting reports and videos of players throughout the California League.
In an e-mail, A's Assistant General Manager David Forst expressed confidence that Geaney would be able to make a seamless transition to his new position.
"I have no doubt he will pick up right where Dan left off," Forst wrote.
In his three years with the organization, Kantrovitz had made a strong impact on the Oakland A's as the coordinator of the team's international scouting department. Under his guidance, the A's had moved into several new markets for amateur free agents, including Taiwan, South Korea and Colombia. The St. Louis Cardinals are hoping that Kantrovitz can make a similar impact on their scouting department as the Cards' Director of Amateur Scouting.
In St. Louis, Kantrovitz will take over many of the duties of former scouting director Jeff Luhhow, who is now the Houston Astros' GM. Kantrovitz, an alum of Brown University as an undergrad and Harvard as a graduate student, was drafted as a shortstop by the Cardinals in 2001. He would later spend time in the Cardinals' front office after a shoulder injury ended his playing career and would join the A's after receiving an MA in Statistics from Harvard.
Since 2009, Kantrovitz has been leading the A's scouting efforts overseas. During his tenure, the A's made several strong signings, including the signing of top prospects Vicmal De La Cruz, Renato Nunez and Zhi-Fang Pan.
A's Ink Three International Amateur Free Agents
Although things have seemed quiet on the international front for the A's this off-season, the team has actually been busy. Oakland has come to terms with four international amateur free agents and three have been officially signed-off on by Major League Baseball.
The three official signings are catcher Santiago Chavez of Mexico, catcher Luis "Barry" Hernandez of Colombia and outfielder Sanber Pimentel of the Dominican Republic.
Chavez was signed by the A's out of Saltillo, Mexico. Saltillo is the hometown of A's pitching prospect Arnold Leon and Oakland has held open tryouts for prospects in Saltillo. Chavez is 17 years old and he was signed by Juan Navarette and David Tapia. According to Scout.com's National Baseball Expert Frankie Piliere, scouts are high on Chavez's hit tool and believe he can stay behind homeplate.
Pimentel is a 6'1'' left-handed hitter and thrower from Santo Domingo. He weighs 175 pounds and attended the Academia International de Beisbol Professional before signing with Oakland. This is the same academy that produced A's prospect Vicmal De La Cruz, among others. Like Chavez, Pimentel is 17 years old and his hit tool is what scouts like about him the most. According to Baseball America's Ben Badler, Pimentel's older brother is Rangers' minor leaguer Guillermo Pimentel.
Hernandez is the A's first amateur signing out of Colombia. Hernandez is a 17-year-old from Barranquilla, Colombia and is also a catcher. He received his nickname as the "Barry Bonds" of his Colombian national team.
All three players are expected to be part of the A's Dominican Academy in 2012.