Young in tow, a look at Rangers' front office

December 5th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a massive front office and, just like the players on the field, it’s tough to tell who’s who without a scorecard.

So here is your Texas front-office scorecard after the hiring of Chris Young on Friday.

Jon Daniels, president of baseball operations: He took over as general manager after the 2005 season and now has the third-longest tenure of any head of a club’s baseball operations, surpassed only by Brian Cashman (Yankees) and Billy Beane (A's).

Daniels graduated from Cornell and entered baseball through the business world, so he is often labeled an "analytics geek." But the Rangers entered the 2020 season with 12 Major League scouts at a time when most clubs were cutting in that department.

Chris Young, vice president and general manager: Young and Daniels have formed a close relationship over the years. Young has a degree in politics from Princeton, but he also spent 13 years in the big leagues. He is 6-foot-10, mild-mannered and soft spoken. He will need time to grow into the job, but he knows the game, the people and the business enough to be well-qualified for the job of overseeing the Rangers' baseball operations.

Josh Boyd, assistant general manager: Boyd has been the Rangers' chief in the pro scouting department, and he is also working to upgrade their research and development side. He led the charge to land Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Tony Barnette, Chris Martin and Joely Rodríguez out of Japan. Being a former sports writer is not held against him.

Mike Daly, assistant general manager: He oversees Texas' farm system but earned his chops through international scouting with the signing of Ronald Guzmán, Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor and José Leclerc. That said, he has a big job ahead reassembling the farm system after the Minor Leagues were shut down for the year. There is talent in the system, but it needs to be managed well.

Shiraz Rehman, assistant general manager: Rehman, who has an MBA and once earned a living as a commodities trader, handles much of the Rangers' contract negotiations, budget process and roster management. He also knows baseball. He rode point on Texas' trade discussions with the Indians on last winter’s Corey Kluber trade.

Kip Fagg, senior director, amateur scouting: This job is obvious and the most visible: Oversee the MLB amateur Draft in June and take the best players possible. The Rangers have the No. 2 overall Draft pick this season, so the spotlight will be on Fagg. Remember, though: Whether a Draft pick ends up making it depends on myriad factors that are out of the scouting director’s control once he drafts the player.

Ross Fenstermaker, senior director of pro and international scouting: Clubs win partly because they make shrewd offseason acquisitions that don’t make big headlines. (Think Danny Santana and Shawn Tolleson.) Fenstermaker was big on Texas signing right-hander Joe Gatto on Thursday. Gatto hasn’t pitched above Double-A, but the Rangers see something they like. Good scouting and smart decisions still go far. Fenstermaker pitched at UC-Davis.

Rafic Saab, director of international scouting: Saab is the Rangers' main guy in Latin America. A native of Venezuela, his list of signings include Odor, Martín Pérez and Odubel Herrera. The importance of Latin America can’t be underestimated.

Paul Kruger, director of Minor League operations: He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Rangers' farm system, and maybe the entire organization. He has Master’s degrees in business and sports management from Ohio University, and he was the team manager of the University of Missouri baseball team while earning a business degree in finance. Rumor is he doesn’t sleep.

Todd Walther, director of pitching analysis: The title says it all. Could there be any tougher job in baseball than analyzing Texas' pitching issues? Walther probably didn’t anticipate that as a four-year letter winner at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc., but it beats working at the American Motors factory there.

Todd Slavinsky, senior director of baseball systems: Slavinsky oversees the Rangers' information infrastructure. He is big into infrastructure and analytics, and he is a software developer. But before writing him off as a geek, know that he grew up a White Sox fan, pitched at the University of Minnesota-Morris and coaches Little League baseball.

Ryan Murray, director of baseball analytics: Murray was an electrical engineer at the University of Texas. He is also a native of Denton, Texas, a lifelong Rangers fan and a former Junior Ranger. But right now, he and others are crunching the numbers the Rangers use in their player assessments. That is not an insignificant role, and Texas has worked hard the past few years to upgrade that side of the front office.

Those guys are out front, but there are a number of assistants who work behind the scenes, including Ben Baroody (baseball operations), Adam Lewkowicz (amateur scouting), Hamilton Wise (international scouting), Ethan Faggett (baseball systems) and Mike Parnell (pro scouting) who also do the heavy lifting.

Then there are the special assistants: Michael Young, Brandon McCarthy, Darren Oliver, Ivan Rodriguez, Colby Lewis and Steve Buechele. They all have excellent golf swings.