photo: Tony Ferreira (LinkedIn)
The St. Louis Cardinals player development function, responsible for the minor league system, has some big shoes to fill, finding a replacement for a key position that hasn’t been open in over a decade.
Manager of Player Development Tony Ferreira has left the Cardinals organization. The long-time right-hand man to Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque moved to the Los Angeles Angels with his new title assistant director of player development.
Trying to describe Ferreira’s role with the Cardinals is challenging. Essentially, it was to do anything needed to ensure players are where they need to be and ready to play, whether schedules, rosters, logistics or payments – while on call basically 24/7.
“It is a great opportunity for him, no question about it,” LaRocque said. “Tony’s time here made a big, big difference for the player development staff and the players. You know the kind of work he did. He is always engaged; he loves his work and really made a difference over the last 10 to 12 years.”
Perhaps the best way to indicate Ferrera’s value to the organization is to remember how he was recognized.
For the 2019 season, Ferreira received the George Kissell Award for excellence in player development across the Cardinals system. This top organization honor is voted upon by minor league managers, coaches and staff. In over two decades, it was only the second time a non-uniformed individual received the Award.
The farm director speaks highly of his former lieutenant, who joined the organization around the same time as he did, in 2008.
“That (the Kissell Award) was so well earned because for so many years, Tony had been right there and led us through everything,” LaRocque said. “As an administrator, he had to handle all of it. He did a great job with it.”
The Cardinals’ loss is the Angels’ gain.
Read more about the Kissell Award here:
The organization plans to post the position to find Ferreira’s replacement. In the short-term, others including LaRocque and Director of International Operations and Administration Luis Morales (located in Jupiter) are helping to pick up the slack.
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