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Meet Tim Wilken - New director of amateur and professional scouting

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  • Meet Tim Wilken - New director of amateur and professional scouting

    Interesting article I found in my most recent Baseball America by Jeff Vorva:
    The Cubs traded for speedy Juan Pierre, picked up free agent Jacque Jones and were trying to trade for shortstop Miguel Tejada.

    But they made another move that few fans paid attention to that could be just as important when they hired Tim Wilken as their director of amateur and professional scouting. He replaces John Stockstill, who moved on to become an assistant general manager with Baltimore.

    Wilken comes to the Cubs after spending two years with the Devil Rays and 25 years with the Blue Jays. During Wilken's tenure in Toronto as national crosschecker and scouting director, the Blue Jays had 12 straight first-round draft picks make it to the major leagues. The streak included players such as Roy Halladay, Shannon Stewart, and Vernon Wells.
    "I think the key was that we had good area scouts who not only watched the player on the field but watched for actions and how they handles situations," Wilken said. "We based our selection for the most part on the makeup of the player."

    Wilken and Cubs GM Jim Hendry both attended Dunedin (Fla.) High together. After going undrafted out of South Florida, Wilken did everything from public-relations work to throwing baseballs to major leaguers at spring training for the new Toronto franchise. In 1979, then-Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick gave him a shot at scouting and the rest has been a rich history in the game.

    Hendry said he thinks Wilken's impact on the organization could be felt for many years to come.

    "It's one of the most important jobs in the organization," Hendry said. "He'll be in charge in the accumulation of American baseball talent in our country and will evaluate our own system on who to keep and who to trade."
    I, along with most other baseball fans (even very knowledgeable ones), don't really have a grasp on what happens in the inside of an organization. I don't really know whether having a certain scout is better than having any other scout, but getting a guy with a good track record can't be bad, can it?
    A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg

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