Finding The Next Big Star: Former Big League Coach Scouts Generals

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An afternoon at Pringles Park is a release for some, but when Jim Skaalen visits a minor league facility, it is strictly business. “To put it simply I‘m just looking to see if the players in other organizations are better than what we’ve got in Toronto,” said Skaalen. A former hitting coaching for the Oakland A’s and Milwaukee Brewers, Skaalen is now a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. He targets the Mariners and Padres organizations. “I report on every player on every minor league team as well as the major league clubs,” Skaalen said. After watching a Generals series in Jackson last season, Skaalen encouraged the Blue Jays to pick up former Southern League all-star Jake Shaffer. “I saw Jake several times. I liked him a lot. I turned him in as a good solid major league prospect. And then found out he had asked for his release during spring training. I tried to get Toronto to sign him to a contract, but the Cardinals out bid us apparently,” Skaalen said. There is a winning and losing element to scouting, however, the former big league coach told me the toughest thing about his job is the travel. “I‘ll be away twenty four days on this trip,” said. Skaalen. But somebody’s gotta do it. “I‘m watching baseball,” Skaalen said. “I’ll never complain.”

Categories: Jackson Generals, Local News