The crazy story of how the Reds found Votto

McKeon, scouting director: There had been rumors of people on the staff who had leaked stuff or at least told their buddies who eventually told someone else and someone else. In our industry, these guys get on airplanes and start talking, whether it’s on purpose or not. If they say, “Hey, I’m going to Toronto to see this kid.” Then people start thinking, “Why are they going to Toronto?” I had our guys just kind of keep everything under the radar.

Castleberry, national scout: We didn’t have a lot of money [to spend on Draft bonuses]. And every time we had a name, the Milwaukee Brewers would be on the same guy. We had a guy in the administration who was tight with Milwaukee. He would give the names of who we were looking at, all the time. That guy is no longer in the game.


Jim Bowden, Reds general manager (now an analyst for The Athletic): There were not necessarily leaks in the front office that were a problem on specific issues like this. But certainly, the scouting industry was well known for sharing information while scouting amateur players with each other, even when working for different teams. So often times if a scout discovered a player, there was a “fraternity” of sharing the information. However, in a case like this, the scouts have to alert the front office of a player of Votto’s magnitude, so the player can be crosschecked properly against other first-round talents. So for an employee to go against club policy, it’s definitely a fireable offense, as is sharing confidential information with other teams.

Source: Mark Sheldon,

It’s a wonderful tale because it’s about Votto, one of the top players of the last 20 years. But it’s also fascinating story about a scouting director, Kasey McKeon, who grew up in a baseball family and who knew he had to jump through hoops and do things in secret for as long as possible because the GM and the organization he was working for was second-rate.

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