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Bucs bolster scouting staff with hiring of quartet

The Pirates on Wednesday beefed up their scouting ranks with the hiring of a quartet of scouts with a cumulative experience of more than 85 years on the professional level.

Headlining the influx is Ron Hopkins, in 2012 the national crosschecker for the Orioles who previously was director of scouting for Texas and also spent time as a special assistant to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.

Joining Hopkins, as announced by Pittsburgh assistant GM Greg Smith:

• Ricky Bennett, director of professional scouting for the last two of his eight years with the Astros. Previously, Bennett had spent eight years with the Tigers, including three years as director of their Minor League operations.

• Carlos Berroa, who has spent the last 15 years with the Marlins filling a variety of roles, including as director of the club's Puerto Rican Baseball Academy.

• John Kosciak, who has 30 years of scouting experience, most recently as an area supervisor with the Astros; he has also worked in the Dodgers and Padres organizations.

These moves are in addition to an earlier hiring expected to greatly enhance the Bucs' scouting endeavors: Bill Livesey, brought in as a special advisor to general manager Neal Huntington, has extensive scouting experience and is expected to spend much of his time traveling in a supporting role for other scouts.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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