ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Today the Tampa Bay Rays made several promotions within their Baseball Operations department. Carlos Rodriguez has been promoted to Vice President, Player Development and International Scouting. Mitch Lukevics has been promoted to Senior Advisor, Player Development/Baseball Operations. Jeff McLerran has been promoted to Director, Minor League
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Today the Tampa Bay Rays made several promotions within their Baseball Operations department. Carlos Rodriguez has been promoted to Vice President, Player Development and International Scouting. Mitch Lukevics has been promoted to Senior Advisor, Player Development/Baseball Operations. Jeff McLerran has been promoted to Director, Minor League Operations. Patrick Walters has been promoted to Director, International Operations. Steve Miller has been promoted to Director, International Scouting.
“We are fortunate to have talented staff and we’re proud of what these departments have accomplished,” said Rays Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations/General Manager Erik Neander. “The pace of change within baseball continues to intensify, and these well-deserved promotions best prepare us to build on the great work of our people. In their new roles, we expect Mitch, Carlos, Jeff, Patrick and Steve to all have even greater impact on our organization.”
Rodriguez, in his eighth year with the Rays organization, will now oversee the player development system as well as player acquisition outside the U.S. and Canada. He was promoted to director, international scouting in November 2014 after spending two years as director of Latin American scouting, and before that served as a professional and international scout. Before joining the Rays, he spent four years as an area scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Puerto Rico native graduated from the University of North Florida, where he played baseball and served as an assistant coach, with dual degrees in international business and economics.
Lukevics, in his 45th season in professional baseball and 24th with the Rays, will remain closely involved with the Rays minor league system. He will work with staff, programs and processes both within player development and throughout Baseball Operations. He joined the organization in November 1995 as pitching coach for the GCL Rays, was named assistant to player development and scouting in 1997, and was appointed director, minor league operations in 2006. In 2012, Minor League Baseball presented him with the prestigious Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award, presented to a baseball executive with distinguished service who has been instrumental in player development. In 2016, Lukevics was inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame.
“The strength of our farm system, and its culture of constant improvement, are a testament to Mitch’s outstanding leadership,” said Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom. “Both his attention to detail and his care for our staff and players are exceptional. He will continue to have significant impact within player development, and now his expertise will help us in new ways throughout Baseball Operations.”
McLerran, in his ninth season with the Rays, will lead the day-to-day operations of the Rays minor league system. He has served as assistant director, minor league operations since 2015, after joining the Rays minor league operations department in 2011. A native of Leawood, Kansas, McLerran graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.S. in business administration.
Walters, in his 10th season with the Rays, will oversee operations and staff at the Latin American academies. He joined the Rays as a Baseball Operations intern in 2010 and has served a variety of international and player development roles since then, including the past two years as assistant director, international operations. The Montgomery, Alabama native earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama.
Miller, who has spent the last six years as international crosschecker, will oversee scouting activities and personnel outside the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining the Rays, he spent seven seasons scouting for the Blue Jays, as an area scout from 2006-10 and a regional crosschecker from 2011-13. Miller earned a degree in business administration from Huntingdon College (Alabama) and earned his master’s from Wichita State University. He spent 13 years as a college baseball coach before moving into the professional ranks.