Damon Oppenheimer (NY Yankees VP, Amateur Scouting) has been one of Major League Baseball’s best kept secret. Oppenheimer is responsible for drafting and developing talent (such as Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, David Robertson and Phil Hughes). Prior to this date, the Yankees hadn’t developed significant major league talent since Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.
Oppenheimer was a former catcher at USC and then in the Brewers’ minor league system. When his career ended in 1985 – Oppenheimer worked in the front office with the Padres. Damon’s mother handled the Padres’ minor league operations for decades before retiring a few years ago. There were several baseball operations – advanced scouting positions (Rangers, Yankees – in the U.S. and Latin America) prior to his promotion by Brian Cashman with the Yankees.
Why is Oppenheimer a lock to eventually obtain a General Manager opportunity? It comes down to MLB is taking a closer look at the behind-the-scenes front office executives that are deep rooted and understand the game and the core values of becoming a senior executive / architect.
- The Role of statistics in scouting
- Understanding the day-to-day business
- Personnel / Player procurement
- Drafting / Develop talent
- Owner and Manager – Liaison
In the past, the NY Yankees have denied teams the opportunity to interview with Oppenheimer. Fortunately, Oppenheimer is longer behind the scenes and more teams are requesting to meet him. It’s only a matter of time before he’s hired in a senior – leadership role.