Pirates Hire Scout in Netherlands

At least I'm pretty sure that's what this article, written in Dutch, says. I'm not sure if this news has been reported in the US. The article also seems to say that new Pirate employee Martijn Nijhoff is one of ten Dutch scouts for Major League Baseball. Nijhoff used to pitch for the Dutch team DOOR Neptunus.

This may not be as trivial as it sounds; Nijhoff is (again, if I can make sense of the article) the coach of the Dutch team PSV, which recently produced 23-year-old Marlins starting pitcher Rick VandenHurk. The Netherlands' baseball establishment is much stronger than those of most other European countries, and there are actually some Dutch prospects out there, like the Reds' Alex Smit and especially Greg Halman, who Baseball America recently named the Mariners' #1prospect. It's doubtful (but not impossible) that setting up shop in the Netherlands will produce immediate results for the Pirates, but it's a good move for the future of the franchise.

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