Brian Bannister didn't sign with the Red Sox after being selected in the 45th round in 2002, choosing to return to the University of Southern California and re-enter the draft the following year, but the former major leaguer is making a return to Boston. The organization announced today that they hired Bannister as a professional scout and an analyst.
The 33-year-old Bannister, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2003 draft by the New York mets, finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting during his freshman campaign with the Kansas City Royals. Bannister spent five seasons in the major leagues, finishing with a career 5.08 ERA after hanging up the spikes following the 2010 season.
Bannister, however, isn't the typical former player turned scout. The hurler was at the forefront of the baseball sabermetric revolution, a movement that, especially among players at the time, garnered a lot of skepticism. During the 2009 season, Bannister helped teammate Zack Greinke gain appreciation for modern statistics, according to a 2009 story in the New York Times, which helped lead to the latter's Cy Young campaign.
Bannister said Greinke has learned to adjust his pitching based on the advanced defensive statistics. Because of the size of the outfield at Kauffman Stadium and the strength of the Royals' outfielders, relative to their infielders, it sometimes made more sense to induce fly balls.
"David DeJesus had our best zone rating," Bannister said, referring to the Royals' left fielder. "So a lot of times, Zack would pitch for a fly ball at our park instead of a ground ball, just because the zone rating was better in our outfield and it was a big park."
To that end, Bannister introduced Greinke to FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, the statistic Greinke named Tuesday as his favorite. It is a formula that measures how well a pitcher performed, regardless of his fielders. According to fangraphs.com, Greinke had the best FIP in the majors.
"That's pretty much how I pitch, to try to keep my FIP as low as possible," Greinke said.
Here are the full list of announcements from the Red Sox press release:
Raquel Ferreira has been promoted to Vice President, Baseball Administration. A member of the Red Sox organization since 1999, Ferreira is only the third female to be elevated to the position of vice president in a baseball operations department in Major League Baseball. The University of Rhode Island graduate and native of the Ocean State has worked in minor league operations for the club for each of the last 16 years, most recently as Senior Director, Minor League Operations from 2012-14.
Amiel Sawdaye was promoted to Vice President, Amateur and International Scouting. Over the previous five seasons, the University of Maryland graduate has been the club’s Director of Amateur Scouting. He began his career with the Red Sox as an intern in 2002 and moved into the scouting department full time for the 2004 season. A Baltimore, MD native, Sawdaye has been a part of the Red Sox organization for 13 years (2002-present).
Paul Fryer has been hired as Global Crosschecker. Fryer joins the Red Sox with 26 years of scouting experience over stints with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. For the past three years, he worked as national crosschecker for the Dodgers. A native of Scranton, PA, Fryer spent eight years (1978-85) as an infielder in the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and San Francisco Giants minor league systems.
Mark Wasinger has been promoted to Special Assistant, Player Personnel. Wasinger, who has been a member of the Red Sox organization for the last 12 seasons (2003-present), has spent the last four years as a Special Assignment Scout for the club. A former infielder, he played parts of three seasons in the major leagues between the San Diego Padres (1986) and San Francisco Giants (1987-88). The upcoming year will be Wasinger’s 20th in scouting overall, as he also spent seven years with the Padres in that capacity.
Mike Murov was promoted to Assistant Director, Major League Operations. A 2007 graduate of Dartmouth College, Murov has worked for the Red Sox since 2010, most recently as Coordinator, Baseball Operations from 2013-14. Prior to joining the Red Sox organization, the Oakland, CA native interned in the baseball operations departments of the Florida Marlins (2008) and Cincinnati Reds (2009).
Joe McDonald has been hired as Baseball Operations Analyst. A native of Malden, MA, McDonald was hired by the Red Sox as a baseball operations intern in 2013. Prior to joining the organization, the 2011 Boston College graduate was an intern in both the New York Yankees (2011) and Detroit Tigers (2012) baseball operations departments.
Major League Staff
Adrian Lorenzo has been hired as Major League Staff Assistant. A native of Miami, FL, Lorenzo first joined the Red Sox organization in 2013 as a player development department intern in Fort Myers, FL. This past year, he interned in the baseball operations department, in the areas of international scouting and player personnel. Lorenzo also spent part of 2014 as a translator for several Spanish-speaking players on the major league roster. Before coming to the Red Sox, Lorenzo worked in the baseball division of the Wasserman Media Group from 2011-13.
Brian Abraham has been promoted to Assistant Director, Player Development. A native of Worcester, MA, Abraham spent the last two seasons with the Red Sox as a Major League Staff Assistant. Prior to joining the organization, the Holy Cross graduate spent six years with the Toronto Blue Jays (2007-12), primarily working in advance scouting and video operations.
Sports Medicine Service
Dr. Richard Ginsburg, PhD has been hired as Director, Behavioral Health Program. In addition to his role with the Red Sox, Ginsburg also serves as Co-Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital PACES Institute of Sport Psychology, and as the Director of both the MGH Child and Adolescent Group Psychotherapy Program, and Psychological Services at the MGH Youth Concussion Clinic. He is also an assistant clinical professor at both Harvard Medical School and MGH. Ginsburg, a native of Baltimore, MD, originally joined the Red Sox as a consultant in 2013.
Jason Bartley, DPT, OCS was hired as Physical Therapist and Clinical Educator. A native of Vancouver, WA, Bartley spent the last year as a contracted physical therapist for the United States Air Forces Special Operations Command in the United Kingdom. After obtaining a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Puget Sound in 2004, Bartley earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Creighton University in 2007. He is a certified orthopedic clinical specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and is fellowship trained in manual physical therapy.
Bob Tewksbury, Laz Gutierrez, and Justin Su’a, MS were named Mental Skills Coaches.
Gutierrez, who is entering his 10th year in the Red Sox organization, has spent the last two seasons as Player Development Programs Coordinator. He has also worked for the club as an amateur scout since 2006, and served as Short-A Lowell’s pitching coach in 2007 and 2010. A former pitcher who played professionally in the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres minor league systems, Gutierrez attended the University of Miami.
Su’a joins the Red Sox from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL where he served as the Head of Mental Conditioning for the last two years. Prior to that position, the native of Torrance, CA, worked as a Performance Enhancement Specialist in the United States Army-SAIC. Su’a obtained his master’s degree in Psycho-Social Aspect of Sport from the University of Utah in 2011. As an undergraduate, Su’a earned a degree from Brigham Young University in 2007, where he pitched on the varsity baseball team and was named an All-American in 2001.
Tewksbury returns to his role at the Red Sox in 2015 after working for the Major League Baseball Players’ Association last year. The former All-Star pitcher and veteran of 13 seasons in the big leagues had previously worked as mental skills coach for Boston for nine years (2005-13). The upcoming year will mark the New Hampshire native’s 16th in the Red Sox organization.
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD has been named Team Nutritionist. Currently operating a private practice in Newton, MA, Clark, a native of Little Compton, RI, has worked with several athletes among the city’s professional, collegiate, and high school teams. She is the author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, counsels athletes, and leads workshops nationally, and teaches sports nutrition to health professionals. Clark, who served as a nutrition consultant for the Red Sox in 2014, holds a degree in nutrition from Simmons College, and a degree in nutrition with a focus on exercise science from Boston University. She completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mike Rikard was promoted to Director, Amateur Scouting. A University of North Carolina-Greensboro graduate, Rikard has spent the last 10 years working in the Red Sox scouting department, most recently as national scouting coordinator from 2013-14. Prior to that post, he served as a regional crosschecker (2005-10) and national crosschecker (2010-12) for the club. Rikard began his scouting career as an area scout for the San Diego Padres from 2000-04.
Steve Sanders was promoted to Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting. The upcoming year will mark his fifth in the Red Sox organization. Originally hired by the club as a baseball operations intern in 2011, Sanders served as Coordinator, Amateur and International Scouting in 2014. Prior to joining the Red Sox, the 2010 graduate of Northwestern University interned with the Los Angeles Dodgers in baseball operations from 2009-10.
Tom Kotchman, in addition to his role as the manager of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox, will serve as a crosschecker for the state of Florida. At the 2014 Winter Meetings, Kotchman, who has over 30 years of service in baseball, was named East Coast Scout of the Year. This weekend in Los Angeles, CA, Kotchman will receive a Legends in Scouting Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation. Kotchman is entering his second season managing the GCL team, which won last year’s league championship.
Todd Gold has been hired as an amateur scout for North Carolina and South Carolina. Prior to joining the Red Sox organization, he spent the last six years (2009-14) as a Scouting Supervisor at Perfect Game. In addition, Gold also worked part time as a scout for Baseball Prospectus from 2012-14.
Stephen Hargett has been hired as an amateur scout for Northern Florida. The graduate of Florida State University spent the last two years as a part-time scout for the Red Sox. Prior to joining the organization, Hargett spent seven years (2006-12) as a part-time scout for the Los Angeles Angels.
Josh Labandeira has been hired as an amateur scout for Northern California. Prior to joining the Red Sox, Labandeira worked in a part-time scouting role with the Kansas City Royals in 2014, and as an associate scout in the Houston Astros system from 2011-13. An infielder, he was a sixth-round selection of the Montreal Expos out of Fresno State University in the 2001 June Draft.
Justin Horowitz has been hired as Assistant, Amateur and International Scouting. A graduate of Georgetown University in 2013, Horowitz began his Red Sox career as an intern in the baseball operations department in 2012. The La Jolla, CA native is entering his fourth year in the organization.
Gus Quattlebaum has been named Assistant Director, Professional and International Scouting. Quattlebaum, an Andover, MA native, is entering his 10th year in the Red Sox organization. He originally joined the club in 2006 as a professional scout. The Davidson College graduate began his baseball career as a player development intern for the Montreal Expos in 1998. Before coming to the Red Sox, Quattlebaum served as a scout in the New York Yankees (1999-2003) and Baltimore Orioles (2004-06) organizations. He has spent the past five years with the Red Sox as Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting.
Dave Klipstein has been promoted to Special Assignment scout. Klipstein has 22 years of professional scouting experience in professional baseball over stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1993-96), Texas Rangers (1997-2006), and the Red Sox (2006-present) organizations. For the past three years, he was a major league scout for Boston. Klipstein was a 29th round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 June Draft out of Mississippi State University.
Brian Bannister has been hired as a Professional Scout and Analyst. A former pitcher who played five seasons in the majors between the New York Mets (2006) and Kansas City Royals (2007-10), Bannister finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting with the Royals in 2007. Bannister was originally selected by the Red Sox out of the University of Southern California in the 2002 June Draft, but did not sign.
Francisco Polanco has been hired as an area scout for the Dominican Republic. A former right-handed pitcher, Polanco spent three years playing in the Texas Rangers minor league system before pitching internationally in Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and Italy. He worked for the Cleveland Indians as an area scout in 2014, and as an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves in 2013.
Lenin Rodriguez has been hired as an area scout in Venezuela. Prior to joining the Red Sox, Rodriguez spent eight seasons (2000-07) for the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international scout working in Venezuela.