* Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish, an Ottawa native, is the winner of the 19th annual Scout of the Year award, re-named after Jim Ridley after he passed .... 2012 Canadians in the Minors 2012 Canadians in College Letters of Intent Canadian$ with $ix-figure $igning bonu$e$ Brewers will stage open workout camps
By Bob Elliott
The annual Jim Ridley award, our scout of the year honour, has basically gone to area scouts.
How can we possibly overlook Andrew Tinnish this June?
Tinnish took over as scouting director of the Blue Jays for the 2010 draft and the performance of draftees from that June make him the winner of our 19th annual honour.
As scouting director, Tinnish selected high school pitchers Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard and Justin Nicolino.
The trio, signed for a total of $1.99 million US in signing bonuses, are a combined 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA at class-A Lansing with a staggering total of 38 walks and 135 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings.
Sanchez, of Barstow, Calif. (drafted 34th over all) is a 5-0 with a 0.66 ERA, Syndergaard (38th) from Mansfield, Tex., is 3-2, 4.62 and Nicolino (80th) is 2-0, 1.47.
“Obviously those three stand out,” said Tinnish. “They weren’t consensus industry guys, but our scouts really liked them.”
An Ottawa native, Tinnish was a star with the Brock University Badgers.
“I’m partial to Canadian guys,” said Tinnish. “Marcus Knecht was one stands out as well. I’ve known him since he was 11 years old.”
North York’s Knecht was a third-round pick in 2010.
The award was re-named after Ridley, the late Jays and Minnesota Twins scout in 2009.
“I spent time with Rids,” said Tinnish of his early Jays days in 2000. “He was a solid scout who had a ton of passion. He was relentless and didn’t want to get beat. I remember being a bird dog, Rids had a meeting with all us Ontario bird dogs.
"By the end of it we had every tournament covered. He took it very seriously.”
JIM RIDLEY SCOUT OF THE YEAR HONOUR ROLL
YEAR WINNER HOMETOWN TEAM
1994 Bill Scherrer Buffalo, Marlins
1995 Bill MacKenzie Ottawa, Rockies
1996 Tim Harkness Hampton, Ont., Padres
1997 Ed Heather Cambridge, Jays
1998 Wayne Norton Port Moody, B.C., Orioles
1999 Walt Jefferies Paris, Ont. Jays
2000 Claude Pelletier Ste-Lezare, Que., Mets
2001 Jim Kane Brampton, Braves
2002 Ken Lenihan Bedford, N.S. MLB
2003 Dick Groch St. Clair, Mich. Brewers
2004 Jim Ridley Burlington, Twins
2005 Walt Burrows Brentwood Bay, B.C. MLB
2006 Alex Agostino Montreal, Phillies
2007 Howie Norsetter Sydney, Australia, Twins
2008 Greg Hamilton Ottawa, Baseball Canada
2009 Jim Ridley Burlington, Twins
2010 Jay Lapp London, Brewers
2011 Doug Mathieson, Langley, B.C. Twins