Patrick Perry – Ranger scout and inventor

 

March 25, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Texas Rangers' scout Patrick Perry (center right, in purple polo shirt with Khaki bucket hat) records pitch velocity of a prospect on a radar gun at La Salle High School in Concord, CA this spring.

Patrick Perry, a 2001 graduate of Niwot High School, was an important part of the 2000 NHS 4A state baseball championship team, and one of three players from that team selected in major league baseball's amateur draft. Baseball has pretty much been Perry's life ever since, and has carried him to a position as an area scout for Nevada and northern California for the Texas Rangers, evaluating players for the same draft. "I cover Reno to the Bay Area to Fresno," Perry said.

Perry went to Otero JC after high school, but soon ended up at the University of Northern Colorado, where he led the nation's Division I players in batting average in 2004, while earning All-American honors. He was drafted as a catcher by the Boston Red Sox in the seventh round and spent two years in the Red Sox' minor league system, followed by four years of Independent League baseball.

Perry returned to UNC after his playing career ended, earning a master's degree while serving as hitting coach for the Bears for five years before becoming the recruiting coordinator at Dixie State University, an elite Division II program in St. George, Utah.


Perry spent a few months as a consultant for Sports Stable in Louisville, where his younger brother, Michael Perry, also a standout catcher at NHS and in college, is the chief financial officer. At that point Patrick Perry interviewed for a position as an area scout for the Texas Rangers, got the job, and has been evaluating high school and college players for the Rangers for the past two years.

The Rangers' position came about because of a baseball connection Perry made when he was coaching at UNC. "Levi Lacey, who was the baseball coach at Everett Junior College, asked me to work a baseball camp in Alaska, and seven or eight years later he took a job with Texas as the 4-corners' area scout. A year or two later he contacted me and said there was an opening with the Rangers. I interviewed and got the job."

Perry has enjoyed his time as a scout, though it involves significant travel. "The Rangers take care of their employees better than anyone in the industry," he said. "They value employees and their families," citing the support offered when the grandson of an area scout died tragically.

In his role as an area scout, Perry evaluates high school and college players the Rangers might select in the amateur draft. "I look at junior college, DI and DII players. We're heavy into analytics, but I look for guys that have an impact, who can play beyond their skill set."


Last year Perry focused more on college players, but this season it's primarily high school players who are on his radar. He likened his position to that of an air traffic controller. "I have to find a way to get them all seen," he said. Players he scouts have to be seen by cross-checkers and area supervisors as well.

He admitted that scouts often notice players in a game other than the player they were scouting, especially sophomores or juniors in high school. Perry also discussed Chicago Cubs' infielder David Bote as an example of a player who wasn't on scouts' radar initially.

Bote, the son of Perry's Niwot High coach Bob Bote, was drafted by the Cubs in the 17th round after being noticed at the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction while playing for Neosho Junior College, which featured pitcher Matt Strahm currently of the San Diego Padres.

"I remember David when he was about five years old, hanging around the field," Perry recalled. "I got to know him later when he worked out at UNC during the offseason when he was in Class A ball." Perry's creed is "Opportunity doesn't grow in a vacuum," which brings to mind Bote's hard work which propelled him to the majors.

In his spare time, Perry became an inventor, creating a device called the Whipstick which helps baseball and softball players, as well as golfers, with their swings. The patent pending device is available on http://www.whipsticks.com. "About three years ago I had a hitter at Dixie State who couldn't get into a good loading position," Perry explained. "I started out with a PVC pipe filled with sand so he could feel it. It helped him get into a good position to hit an inside fastball." All of the sales come from the website at this point, and orders are filled by Perry or his wife.


These days, Perry is "holed up at home" with his wife and 18-month old daughter. "I saw about 10 or 12 college games," Perry said. "I saw my last high school game last week. I'm optimistic that the season won't be cancelled. They might do a condensed schedule with less games. I'm just trying to stay positive."

Courtesy Photo

 

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