While many of the names associated with the Michigan baseball team’s open head-coaching job have been familiar, expected names so far, an intriguing wild card has reportedly emerged this week. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, former Michigan standout and Chicago Cubs infielder Bobby Scales is a name to watch in the search.
“Bobby Scales has been mentioned in the Michigan baseball coaching search and would be a tremendous hire,” Morosi tweeted. “Highly respected in the baseball industry. Train @umichbaseball infielder who reached @MLB with the @Cubs and went on to front office roles with the @Angels and @Pirates.”
Scales, originally from Southfield, Mich. before moving to and playing high school baseball in Roswell, Georgia, played for the Wolverines from 1996-99. In Ann Arbor, he recorded a .335 batting average over the course of 190 games, as well as a .920 fielding percentage. He graduated from Michigan, and was then selected in the 14th round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. Scales logged nearly a decade in the minor leagues before making his major-league debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2009. He appeared in 61 games for the Cubs, registering 34 hits and a .248 batting average, before eventually retiring as a player in 2012 .
From there, Scales became the Director of Player Development for the Los Angeles Angels from 2012-15, then spent one season as Special Assistant to the GM. He then moved to the Pirates organization, where he spent three seasons as Minor League Field Coordinator and one season as Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives, Player Development. After last fall, he switched to working for Sports Info Solutions as Vice President of Baseball.
In an interview with SIS, Scales outlined his passion for player development, a trait necessary for a program with as many recruiting disadvantages in today’s college baseball as Michigan.
“The best thing about PD is the day-in and day-out quest to help an individual get to the next dot in their career,” Scales said. “Whether it was a player, a coach, or a young intern in the office, doing whatever needed to help people advance their careers is something that I really enjoyed. Regardless of what people think, this game is about relationships. Building those relationships is essential to anything we are trying to do.”
Other names that have been linked to Michigan’s vacancy include Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter, Connecticut head coach Jim Penders and Central Michigan head coach Jordan Bischel, among others.
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