Red Sox: Internal candidate Mike Rikard promoted to VP of Scouting
The Boston Red Sox are cleaning house. After a disappointing year, we’re ramping up for the 2020 season. Mike Rikard has been promoted to VP of Scouting.
MassLive announced more front office changes for the Boston Red Sox. Mike “Rik” Rikard has been promoted to Vice President of Scouting.
Rikard graduated from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro where he majored in exercise and sports science. Rik was one of the first players in the University’s baseball program. He played as a Spartans shortstop. He was part of the team that was Big South Conference champions and had two big wins in the NCAA Tournament.
Baseball America’s Conor Glassey ranked Rik second of his Top 10 Future Scouting Directors back in 2012. The ranking was based on the opinions of over 25 scouting directors and other front-office executives at the time. In 2012, Rik was working as a National Crosschecker for the Red Sox.
As Baseball-Reference explains, the role of a crosschecker is to provide a second opinion on scouting reports. A crosschecker focuses on prospects expected to be drafted in the early rounds or on targeted trade players. It’s a crucial role in the system as they are responsible for ensuring that player evaluations match up. What made Rik stand out in the minds of the executives interviewed?
His college playing career and family ties to baseball offer him the unique perspective of coming from a baseball family. He has a unique personality and a wide range of experience that gives him the advantage of connecting with everyone- from scouts, players, parents, and agent. The Red Sox previous Scouting Director Amiel Sawdaye said,
"“He’s overly prepared, a great people person and he’s very organized. He likes to spend time in cars with the scouts to create that connection. There’s no ego there and he’s a tireless worker. He’ll go to no end to make sure the process is complete and he’s been a creative, out of the box thinker.”"
Fast-forward seven years and Rik is the new VP of scouting for the Red Sox. The executives polled in the Baseball America’s Top 10 Scouting Directors knew what they were talking about when it came to Rikard. So, what else do we know about him?
Rikard has been a member of the Red Sox front office for 12 years. Rikard moves up the ladder with ample experience in different aspects of the scouting department.
He acted as the vice president of amateur scouting, directing draft efforts since 2015. He has previous experience as a national scouting coordinator, regional crosschecker, and national crosscheckers.
Rikard began he baseball career as an assistant coach for Wake Forest University in 1995. His experience also includes working with the Cape Cod League Bourne Braves as the manager. The San Diego Padres gave Rikard his first chance in the big leagues working as an area scout from 2000-2004.
What does he like the most about scouting? As Rik said,
"“I’ve always enjoyed making player comparisons, and that’s a great deal of the job. Scouting is like a game. We’re competing- we’re getting up every day and we’re trying to beat the competition. It’s something I’m really passionate about and enjoy.”"
In his new role, Rik will be involved in both the draft and the entire scouting system (international, amateur, and professional). With the move, the Red Sox are searching for an increased perspective on player evaluations while tracking them more heavily throughout their careers.
The Red Sox have had an unexpectedly poor season. There have already been numerous front office changes with more to come. We should also anticipate more player roster changes as well. I believe the promotion for Rik is a good thing for the Red Sox. Rik developed ties to Theo Epstein in 2000 during his time with the Padres. Could this be a sign of what’s to come?
Rik will bring personal touches to his new role. In a field that’s so competitive, how does one team stand out? The Red Sox have the rich team history, the lure of playing in Boston (one of my favorite cities), and one of the original ballparks. In case that’s not enough, we now have an advantage on the way that Rik delivers personal connections. Give us a few years to rebuild our system and we’ll once again be on top of baseball.