As the Northwest Indiana Oilmen strive to continue their success in identifying and developing professional level talent, the organization has added an individual with a wealth of experience in that area.
A veteran of 27 seasons as a Major League Baseball scout, Scott Trcka has been hired as the team’s Director of Player Personnel and Development. In his role with the Oilmen, Trcka will assemble the roster and foster relationships with schools, players and coaches. He will also serve as the team’s bench coach and catching instructor.
“We are thrilled to welcome Scott to the Oilmen organization,” Oilmen President Don Popravak said. “He brings a Major League pedigree to the position and will be a tremendous asset in terms of both identifying and developing talent. Scott will be an integral part of our team as we continue to add to our success both in winning games and in progressing players to the next level.”
Trcka brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position after his long tenure as a big league scout. Most recently, the Hobart native was an area supervisor for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016 after serving as the club’s Midwest supervisor from 2013-2015. Trcka’s big league scouting career also included a stint as an area supervisor for the New York Mets from 2006-2012 and time as a pro scout, eastern crosschecker and area supervisor with the San Diego Padres from 2002-2005. He broke into Major League Baseball with his first stint in the Phillies organization from 1989-2001, serving first as an area supervisor and then as an eastern crosschecker.
“Over my career, I’ve seen a lot of successful players,” Trcka said. “I’ve seen No. 1 picks, and I’ve seen low picks who have gone on to be successful. Not only have I been able to identify players with big-time talent, but also those with marginal talent who have what it takes to play in the big leagues because of their ability as baseball players. You can scout the tools, but I go by the makeup. From my experience, I know what athletes need to do to get to the next level, and I hope to help young players accomplish that goal with the Oilmen.”
Trcka was recommended for the Oilmen position by Bobby Morris, a former minor league baseball player and the brother of long-time big leaguer Hal Morris. Bobby put Trcka and Popravak in touch with one another.
“When I met with Don, we both felt this would be a good fit,” Trcka said. “I’ve always been on the major league side, so I’m excited to get the opportunity to be around young players and share some of my knowledge. I’m looking forward to helping our organization and our players in a variety of ways.”
In addition to his major league experience, Trcka covered winter ball in the Dominican Republic from 1998-2001. In 2005, he was assigned four major league clubs in spring training along with 24 minor league teams during the season. In 2007, he spent two weeks in Japan covering the professional baseball there.
His track record of success is highlighted by the signing of Scott Rolen, a seven-time major league All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Rolen was selected in the second round of the 1993 draft. Trcka also signed the following Major League players as an area supervisor: Steve Parris (1989, fifth), Gary Bennett (1990, 11th), Mike Grace (1991, 10th), Tony Fiore (1992, 28th), David Doster (1993, 27th), Kevin Sefcik (1993, 33rd), Jason Boyd (1994, eighth) and Kevin Plawecki (2012, first, 35th overall selection).
His impressive resume also includes recommending the following major league players as a crosschecker: Pat Burrell, Jason Michaels, Jorge Padilla, Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd, Gavin Floyd, Khalil Greene, Tim Stauffer, Colt Morton, Dirk Hayhurst and Aaron Nola.
“I love being around players; I always have,” Trcka said. “When I drafted a player not only was I the scout, but I cared about how they were doing personally and professionally. If they had a problem, they would call me. I’d like to take that into this job with the Oilmen. I want to develop relationships with our players and instill a work ethic in them.”
During Trcka’s youth, his late father Dick inspired him to pursue a career in baseball. Dick was a legendary coach at Calumet High School in Hammond. He assembled over 200 victories and enjoyed seven winning seasons including the school’s first sectional title in 1982 before passing away in 1986. Calumet’s baseball field was named in his honor.
“My dad did it with fundamentals and by teaching quality kids,” Trcka said. “I’m not a yeller; I’m a guy who talks and tries to make things positive. Yellers are for the football field or the basketball court. Baseball players are a different breed. You have to treat them with respect and put your arm around them. Sometimes, you have to give them tough love. That’s where I believe I can be a great asset to the Oilmen, and I credit that to my dad. He was a fundamentals hound and a man who truly cared about his players.”