St. Louis Cardinals Hire Randy Flores as Scouting Director


The St. Louis Cardinals announced the hiring of 40-year-old Randy Flores as their scouting director on Friday, putting him in charge of their draft and international signing operations going forward. He replaces Chris Correa, who was fired in early July after eight months on the job due to the discovery of his role in the Cardinals’ illegal hacking of the Houston Astros’ personnel database.

Flores is a very notable hire for the Cardinals due to the fact that he played for the team for five years (2004-08). Over that time, the lefty specialist had a 4.35 ERA over 237 appearances. Flores also played for the Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, and Minnesota Twins in an MLB career that lasted from 2002 to 2010.

Since his retirement, Flores has worked as a broadcaster for various outlets, worked as an assistant coach at his alma mater, USC, and most importantly, started his own successful business. Flores founded OnDeck Digital, a video scouting system that aids coaches and evaluators with recruiting. Flores’s technology is now used by several major-league teams as well.

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The hiring of Flores in such an influential role within the organization is a major step away from the Cardinals’ (and all of baseball’s) recent hiring tendencies, which gave preference to Ivy League-educated statistical geniuses who often had never even played the game. While Flores is obviously a very intelligent guy, having executed the startup of a successful Silicon Valley technology business and graduated with a masters degree in education from USC, his views on scouting will likely be different considering the fact that he played in the majors and places such an emphasis on video. Whereas a typical sabermetrically-inclined scouting director may base his evaluation of a player off of heavy data analysis and will largely neglect the visual element of the player’s game, a guy like Flores who has seen the reality of unpredictability in the majors and puts emphasis on mechanics may have a more traditional strategy.

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That’s a sharp contrast from guys like Correa, who had never played baseball and was working on his doctoral degree at Michigan before getting hired, Dan Kantrovitz, a former investment banker (who, granted, did play baseball at Brown University and in the Cardinals’ system), and Jeff Luhnow, a former engineer and executive in the corporate world. Flores has his own business experience and plenty of formal education, but his baseball experience outweighs that of anyone that the Cardinals have had in the role during the recent past.

Perhaps the most important aspect to this hire is that Flores, a former fan favorite who most longtime Cardinals fans will remember from his days on the mound, conveys an image of transparency within the front office and helps the Cardinals to get away from the stereotype that’s existed among their front office members since they were outed for hacking the Astros’ database earlier this season.

Next: Cardinals Recall Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis