For my first interview of 2013, I was lucky to have been able to interview Terry Reynolds, Senior Director of Professional and Global Scouting for the Cincinnati Reds. Unlike most of the interviews I have done so far, Terry resides in the scouting department of a Major League Baseball team, and shares a lot of the credit the organization receives for having such a young and deep team. Terry’s success as a scout has lead to the Reds getting better players and producing better results year after year, and it was a pleasure to get an inside look into the life of a scout.
Throughout our interview Terry and I discussed:
- His careers path and how he settled into the role he’s in now
- How the Reds were able to acquire and grow such young talent
- What it’s like to constantly be on the road and away from his family
- Advice Terry would give to those who want a similar career
Sports Job Interview with Terry Reynolds
Sports Job Interview Transcript
Lucas Biebelberg: Hi everyone, and thanks again for joining us today on SportsNetworker.com. For my first interview of 2013, I’m very happy to be joined by Terry Reynolds, Senior Director of Professional and Global Scouting for the Cincinnati Reds. How are you today, Terry?
Terry Reynolds: I’m doing well. Happy to be here!
Lucas Biebelberg: Thanks again for joining us. Let’s dive right in to the first question. Joining the Reds organization in 2004 as the Director of Amateur Scouting, how were you able to climb the ladder to your current position as the Director of Professional and Global Scouting?
Terry Reynolds: Well, over the course of a fairly long career in baseball, I’ve done a lot of different things. Sometimes, I think title can be a little bit misleading. For me, the most important job with any organization is the Director of Amateur Scouting job because those are the guys that are really the backbone of any organization and how your drafts go and your signings go are exactly where your organization ends up. I really don’t put any more emphasis on the title I have now than I did as the Director of Amateur Scouting. To answer your question, I got there because I had been a coordinator of pro scouting before with the Dodgers and I’ve done a lot of international scouting with the Dodgers in my prior career with them. So this was a natural next step here with the Reds into a position that I’ve had some experience with before.
Lucas Biebelberg: What are some of the scouting functions that you yourself are directly responsible for?
Terry Reynolds: Currently, our pro staff takes care of all of the professional teams that are in affiliated baseball. From Class-A on up, we’ll try to see every player that plays and in some cases, we’ll probably try to get two looks. My personal job that goes with the title is I do the National League Central through Double-A and see all the clubs such as the Cubs and Pirates, and see all their clubs through Double-A. I see all the Reds clubs throughout the whole organization as well as the Dominican Summer League, and in the past couple years, at least two of the last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to do some advanced scouting too. We have an administrator here, his name is Nick Krall, and fortunately for me, Nick handles most of the paperwork, scheduling, and those types of things for our professional scouts. He does the bulk of the heavy lifting, and fortunately for me I get to go out and do the things I prefer to do. It’s a nice set up and we have good and experienced pro scouts, which makes this job a lot easier.
Lucas Biebelberg: The Reds have a very young nucleus of talented players. Would you attribute that more to the great scouting you guys have done, or the smart front office decisions not to trade those young players?
Terry Reynolds: I think it’s really a combination. First off, you have to get the players, so I would say the major guys to be congratulated would be the amateur scouts and the draft guys, and the guys that have been signed internationally who have put us in a position where we finally have some depth in the minor league system. And then, the general manager in particular, Walt (Jocketty), has been astute in when he has had to trade players, and young players, which you always hate to do, but have to do in order to fill a need, especially with the guys we’ve got, and most recently Matt Latos, who’s a top of the rotation type of pitcher, sometimes you just cant draft those guys based on where you’re picking in the draft. Fortunately, we did have some inventory that we could move and we did get a guy we need. So, I think the two work hand-in-hand. You have to have an amateur staff that really understands what your needs are to get the best players out of each draft that you can get, and then really have a front office staff that understands that these are very valuable commodities, and if you’re going to move them, you better get a serious need, and I think we’ve done a very good job of doing that over the last few years.
Lucas Biebelberg: On a personal level, what has it been like to travel a great deal, while also having a daughter who players Division I basketball, and a son who plays Division I baseball?
Terry Reynolds: It’s actually been easier since they got to the college level. The hard part is traveling a lot when your kids are small. Saying goodbye when you leave for Spring Training for six weeks or missing a lot of what they do is hard. On the basketball side for my daughter, fortunately, I was home a lot during the winter, so I got to see a lot more of her games growing up than I did of my son’s baseball games because of thee seasons, but they’ve both been very understand and they’ve both handled it well (probably better than I did), and they got opportunities to play games they really enjoy at schools they really like. Overall, it’s worked at well, and in retrospect you’d always like to be home more and see them more, but that’s just one of the parts of the job that you have to deal with.
Lucas Biebelberg: What would you say was the most powerful and influential decision that you made throughout your career?
Terry Reynolds: I’m not sure how powerful it was, but back in the Dodger days before anybody had really signed any players from Korea, we made a decision that we wanted to sign Chan Ho Park. At that time, there was a lot of logistics involved and a lot of first time things involved in trying to do that. Trying to track him, whether it be in the states or in Korea, or wherever he was able to break down the language barrier and culture barrier, and then actually get him signed and actually finding out more about him after the fact. We wanted to find out things like what kind of person he was, how much money he wanted, how bright he was, etc. That was probably the most challenging and most fun, and ultimately it was very satisfying. So, I’m not sure how big in the scheme of things that actually was, but professionally it was a fun thing for me.
Lucas Biebelberg: The last question we have for you today, Terry, is as one of the most influential people in the Reds organization, what advice would you give to those aspiring to break into the business of sports?
Terry Reynolds: I think it’s gotten harder. I would say that it is going to take time, and you’re going to have to be willing to work for not a whole lot of money to begin with. But go do it! Once you get there and once you get your foot in the door, then its up to you to do things that people notice, to work hard, to contribute, and to not be afraid to talk. If you have something you really want to do, follow that dream and don’t let the fact that it is a hard nut to crack stop you from trying to do it.
Lucas Biebelberg: Thanks very much, Terry. For Sports Networker, I’m Lucas Biebelberg. Have a great day.
Terry Reynolds: Thanks Lucas!
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