Peter Bergeron was the first player in Revs franchise history to sign with York A scouting report filed during his high school career can now be viewed online. (YDR file)
The Baseball Hall of Fame added a scouting exhibit this month at Cooperstown. One of the interesting aspects of the exhibit, at least for those not headed to upstate New York in the next few weeks, is the online tool now available to view past scouting reports.
We took a look at some of the names, past and present, that had links to the Atlantic League or York County.
* Revs starting pitcher Brett Tomko had four scouting reports from the 1995 season, and every one mentioned the possibility of him becoming a power arm in the bullpen or a power closer. (That didn’t happen, with Tomko registering two saves during a 14-year major league career.)
* Former outfielder Gene Clines had the potential to be “one of the best outfielders in the National League” in a couple years. That report was filed in 1970, a year after he helped the York Pirates win the Eastern League title. A report from 1972 noted he suffered an arm injury.
* The first player in Revs history, Peter Bergeron (pictured above), was viewed by the White Sox as a suspect sign since his family had “$”, he had committed to Clemson and his uncle told a scout Bergeron’s real desire was to be a medical student. He signed after being drafted in the fourth round by the Dodgers.
* It should come as no surprise that the scouting reports for former York manager Andy Etchebarren for the most part only list flaws in physical tools. Late in his career, several reports note he is at best a third-string catcher but great in the clubhouse — especially with younger players. Before he was drafted, one scout noted he had the strongest pair of hands they had seen on a boy. He also played third base while his older brother caught.
* Camden Riversharks manager Ron Karkovice had several reports, including a glowing one from the Rangers’ Joe Branzel after watching him in just one game. Rated as a “big Sundberg” (a reference to Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg). The report included the phrase that Karkovice “looked like an oldtime country ball gamer.” And, oh yeah, his high school coach was a former organ player for the Montreal Expos.
* Butch Wynegar would one day become an American League All-Star. Wynegar was scouted at Red Lion High School in 1974, Brewers scout Brad Kohler wrote: “He is a country kid who loves baseball.”
* Fans can find a scouting report by Joe Branzel on former Somerset manager Sparky Lyle from his 1977 Cy Young season. It should come as no shock the Rangers respected Lyle, ranking him excellent in almost every category. (He landed in Texas about two years later following the release of the “Bronx Zoo” and the arrival of another closer in Yankee Stadium by the name of Goose Gossage.) Continue reading