The Post-Gazette confirms what John Perrotto reported a few hours ago: Cleveland advance scout and special assistant to the GM Neal Huntington will be the Pirates' new general manager.
"He's going to get the job," an industry source said yesterday.
This has totally taken me by surprise. Vlad has some details two posts below this one. Huntington has a degree from Amherst and a background in player development and scouting, which is good. It's unclear to me why he used to be the assistant GM in Cleveland and now appears to be a couple rungs below that, but maybe that doesn't mean anything anyway. I'm guessing that new team president Frank Coonelly will be closely involved with transactions at the major league level, with Huntington specializing in drafting and development.
Huntington isn't just a scouting guy, though - he worked in a stats-obsessed front office and even did some number-crunching of his own:
They found that generally power does come later in a player's career. More importantly, they identified what they believe are good early indicators that a player will become an effective home run hitter.
Time will tell whether Huntington has what it takes to lead the Pirates, but I don't see much to dislike so far.