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Pujols was high on the Boy Scouts list and the team decided to fit in. Can you imagine doing what this scout did next?

The headlines could have been: “Former Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Albert Pujols may retire after the 2021 season” Instead, speculation by a generational talent at the start of his farewell tour is sparked by an Instagram -Post his wife, another reminder of what could have been”

This goes back to one of my favorite stories in Rays / Devil Rays folklore: Fernando Arango was an area scout for the Devil Rays and came across a relatively unknown high school prospect for good reason.Albert Pujol and his family were recently 16 years old Moved to the US from the Dominican Republic and was just making a name for himself as a high school ball player

I first learned this story years ago when reading The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri ESPN released an excerpt from the story and it is clear that Arango was completely confident that Pujols would be a star of the Had to be majors

Undaunted, Arango said to his superiors, “All I want to say about this guy is that one day he’s going to do 40 home runs in the major leagues.” Jennings wasn’t ready to report on Arango’s or his ranking of the best prospects in Reject Arango’s Five State Territory So he sent RJ Harrison, a national cross-checker (who would become the scouting director years later) Harrison’s verdict: “I can’t do anything with this guy”

Despite the relationship Arango has built with Pujols and the raw skills shown in a pre-draft workout at Tropicana Field, the Rays passed the draft on to the likely future Hall of Famer

Many people argue that every other team failed to draw it too – for 13 rounds – but it’s important to question how many of these other teams had a Boy Scout begging and pleading to draw it / p>

The other common discussion point is that in the same draft, the Devil Rays selected Josh Hamilton with their first two selection drafts

Instead of settling for those two selections and recognizing Hamilton’s MLB achievements outside of the Tampa Bay organization, they chose eight consecutive players from sixth through 13th Round out that the majors never made for a day, a game, an inning, a minute or a second, unless they bought a ticket

Any of these selections could, should, and would have been Pujols if the Front Office had listened to the trusted advice of their Scout

Of course, there are numerous variables that could have derailed this revisionist fantasy of history that doesn’t make it any less real that the Devil Rays could have had a young and talented trio so successful that we never got the name, the jerseys or the would change the name of Stu Sternberg

Unfortunately for Rays fans, this is just a story that will hurt every time you relive it

So far, Pujols has hit 271/316/519 with 15 home runs in 54 games against the Rays. You may recall some of those performances against Tampa Bay:

It is a painful reminder for some every year and it will be until Pujols retires Steve Jobs famously said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people People so they can tell us what to do ”

Fernando Arango resigned from his position after the team refused to accept his recommendation for the player he deemed the best in his area, but that is not the end of his baseball history

In 2003 he moved to Milwaukee Brewers and was promoted to Coordinator for Latin America and then Scouting Director for the Dominican Republic Before retiring in 2015, he spent his three years as a cross checker for the St Louis Cardinals (after Pujols left for the Angels)

Arango passed away in 2019 On the way he remained a close friend of Pujols, a man who should have been a Devil Ray

Albert Pujols

World news – USA – Never forget: Albert Pujols should have been a devil’s ray

Source: https://www.draysbay.com/2021/2/23/22293473/never-forget-albert-pujols-devil-rays-draft