Rico Brogna Enjoying His "Retirement"

Rico Brogna wasn't one of the greatest Phillies players of all-time, but he can arguably be put on the list of the most popular. After retiring as a player, Brogna spent some time as a minor league coach for the Phillies, but has now turned to scouting the game that he loves.

It was a breezy, chilly Saturday afternoon in Trenton, New Jersey and Rico Brogna is in town to look at Double-A affiliates from the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. These days, his paychecks come from the Arizona Diamondbacks and he spends his time scouting in both the minors and majors for Arizona. It's a job that he's found he enjoys and admits that he enjoys it more than coaching. "I love it. It's a lot of fun evaluating players and getting a different angle or perspective on the game and how the game is seen by front office personnel." said Brogna.

Spending time scouting in the Philadelphia area, Brogna has seen the Reading Phillies this season and likes what he's seen. "The Reading team was very interesting. There are some guys to like on that club," believes Brogna. "Carlos Carrasco, who I guess everyone's familiar with now, is the top pitching prospect. I've seen him a bunch and he's got great stuff," said Brogna. He was also impressed with pitcher Josh Outman and second baseman Brad Harman, who the Phillies now have on their Major League roster. "They've got a center fielder, Greg Golson, who is very athletic and toolsy. Like I said, it's an exciting club."

Brogna played in Philadelphia from 1997-2000 before winding up in Boston for the last couple months of the 2000 season after the Phillies placed him on waivers. He spent one more year in the big leagues, signing with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. Brogna also played with the Tigers and Mets prior to coming to Philadelphia in a deal with New York that sent Ricky Jordan and Toby Borland to the Big Apple.

The former first baseman doesn't get to see many of the players that he played with in Philadelphia, but when he gets back there, he does take the chance to see old friends like Harry Kalas, Chris Wheeler and Ruben Amaro, Jr. He also fondly remembers one former Phillie that he didn't play with, but did play against; John Marzano.

"I can't believe that actually happened. I was blown away when I heard the news," said Brogna of Marzano's untimely death last week, which he found out about from his Father. "I said 'is that the same John Marzano', because I just couldn't believe. He was so young," said Brogna.

In his current job, Brogna could play a big role with the Diamondbacks, who will need a little restocking in their organization because of their deal with Oakland that sent a bunch of prospects to the A's for Dan Haren. "I think this is a big draft for the Diamondbacks. We're looking to reload a little bit in the system," said Brogna, who believes there are still a few players to keep an eye on. "There's a pitcher in Triple-A Tucson that's turning a lot of heads, his name is Max Scherzer, he was the top pick a couple years ago," said Brogna of the right-hander, who is ranked as the best prospect in the D'backs organization according to the latest rankings on FutureBacks.com. Brogna also believes young players like last year's first round pick Jarrod Parker - another right-handed pitcher - will become strong players at the big league level for Arizona. Brogna likes the young team that Arizona has in the majors.

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