Scout of the year

Tampa Bay Rays scout Rickey Drexler poses with his Scout of the Year award from the Rays and the Southeastern Scouts Association and a couple of framed jerseys from players that he signed to major league baseball contracts.

For a Jeanerette native, Rickey Drexler has definitely traveled the nation.

As a major league scout, he’s definitely seen some big league talent.

Coming up on two decades in the business, Drexler has been able to put some of that talent in the major leagues.

This past season, Drexler had three players that he helped draft play in the major leagues — Nate Lowe who is with Tampa Bay; former LSU outfielder Jake Fraley and former Tulane player Ian Girbaut, who plays with the Texas Rangers.

As a result of having three players in the majors, Drexler was awarded the 2019 Scout of the Year from the Southeastern Scouts Association, which encompasses scouts from all 30 major league baseball teams working the southeastern part of the country.

“It really means a lot of me,” Drexler said. “In 2015, I got scout of the year for the Tampa Bay Rays organization and obviously that’s among the guys that you work with

“But this award is among guys from all 30 major league clubs.”

Drexler explained how the award comes about.

“You get nominated for the guys that make the big leagues,” he said. “And I have three in the big leagues this past year.

“It’s a testament to the guys that I drafted but also to the organization but your name is attached to those guys.”

According to Drexler, there were four other scouts up for the award, one each from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The award is given only to those scouts who have players in the major leagues.

Drexler’s territory for the Rays is all of Louisiana, all of Mississippi and part of Alabama.

“For a while I had all of Alabama and part of Tennessee as well but the organization puts so much emphasis on scouting that we wanted to make sure that we were able to see and identify as many potential major league players as possible,” Drexler said. 

“So my territory was cut back a little bit so I could get a better look at players.”

Drexler and the rest of the Tampa Bay scouting system is doing something right because last year it was rated as the best in the major leagues.

“That’s not only a testament to me but to all this scouts in the organization,” he said. 

“We must be doing something right because for the past several years we’ve been able to go with the Yankees and the Red Sox in our division and just past past season we took the Astros to five games in the Al Division Series.”

And even after almost two decades in the business, Drexler is not showing any signs of slowing down.

“Maybe one day, but right now I’m still having too much fun doing this and I still have to see some of the camps that we run in the Caribbean and Central and South America.”


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