by Gib Snyder III
December 11, 2016
Fredonia’s Tramuta promoted to Mets Director of Amateur Scouting
“I’m absolutely thrilled and very excited to begin this new position,” Tramuta said. “We have a tremendous scouting staff and our front office members have been great to me ever since I arrived here in October 2012. I’ll be going into my 21st year as a Scout — seven years with Baltimore, nine with Toronto and now five with the Mets. I was an area scout for 11 years, pro scout for one, a national crosschecker for four years and an Assistant Scouting Director for four years, so I’d like to think I’ve worked my way up and had success along the way.”
Tramuta, a Fredonia High School and St. Bonaventure alum, will work directly a pair of the Mets’ top brass.
“I’ll manage more of the day-to-day stuff than I have in the past,” Tramuta said. “I’ll be in charge of directing 18 area scouts, five regional cross checkers, and one national cross checker. I’ll be more of the point man for the First Year Player Draft and will report directly to our VP of Scouting, Tommy Tanous, as well as our GM, Sandy Alderson.”
Tramuta, who knew in the fall that he would be promoted to the position, was not officially appointed to his new job until the beginning of November.
“I can remember the day I was drafted by the (Los Angeles) Dodgers and the day I was released,” Tramuta said, noting, with a laugh, that the dates weren’t too far apart. “And after exhausting all the playing options at that time, I decided I wanted to get into the evaluation side of the game, so first I went back to St. Bonaventure to finish my degree and be an assistant coach, which allowed me to recruit and evaluate.”
It has taken a lot of commitment to his craft, as well as a lot of air miles, for Tramuta to get to where he is, which is a long way from the skinny infielder the Dodgers drafted in the 45th round in 1991.
“If you are not passionate, if you do not wake up everyday and enjoy the chase, then you shouldn’t be in this profession,” Tramuta said. “It’s a grind in terms of travel — it’s constant and nearly year round, depending on where you live and which title you hold. The travel schedule, especially with what I’ve been doing since 2008 is demanding of your time.”
Tramuta, who spends 200 days of the year on the road, still makes his home in Fredonia, where he and his wife, Tonya, have a pair of daughters — 11-year-old Gia and three-year-old Callie.
“Well, most excited was my wife, Tanya, because she is a huge New York Mets fan,” Tramuta said. “It’s an understatement to say how excited she was in 2015 when we made the World Series. My mom and dad we’re happy as well. They’ve seen my baseball career up close and personal for my entire life, from a Little Leaguer to minor leaguer to scout.
“I could not do this job without their support,” Traumta added of his wife, his children and his parents Joey and Janice. “They sacrifice a lot to let me chase this game. I miss birthdays, school activities, a lot of things. My wife has put up with this for eight years, so she deserves a ton of credit keeping the family going.”
What keeps Tramuta going on the road is trying to find some of the game’s top prospects, and after scouting for the past 20 years, he has come across some top-notch talent including Noah Syndergaard (Mets), Aaron Sanchez (Toronto Blue Jays), Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays), Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers), Michael Conforto (Mets), Justin Nicolino (Miami Marlins), Joe Musgrove (Houston Astros), Danny Farquhar (Tampa Bay Rays), Daniel Norris (Detroit Tigers), Anthony DeSclafani (Cincinnati Reds), John Maine (Mets) and Chris Ray (Orioles).
“Athleticism, strength and simply put, baseball skills,” Tramuta said of what he looks for in a potential prospect. “There’s so much that goes into an evaluation process with both position players and pitchers, but the basics for hitters are bat speed, strength, length of swing, pitch recognition, plate discipline, ability to center the ball consistently, exit velocity, and other process-oriented characteristics. For pitchers, some raw tools include fastball velocity, life, or movement of the pitches, ability to spin a curveball or slider, command and control, deception, projection to his stuff — or rather what might it look like in 3 to 5 years — arm action and delivery.
“Body type can be a big deal, but major leaguers come in all shapes and sizes,” Tramuta added. “Also, a basic report would grade on the five tools: Ability to hit, ability to hit for power, ability to run, ability to field, and ability to throw, or a player’s arm strength. Others may include, strike zone discipline and ability to run the bases. So, in essence, when I walk out of a game this spring after watching a high school player from Florida — I likely won’t get to see him more than two games — I’ll write a report. And on the surface, I’ll say what I think his future batting average will be and how many home runs he will hit by Major League standards. So I’m projecting five years out, which is typically the length of time to get through the minor leagues.
“We are in the prediction and projection business,” Tramuta continued. “I’m trying to tell you what an 18 year old, or a 21 year old will do in the next three to five years. Some of these guys look much different in five years, and that’s the key to which teams are best at selecting the talent and predicting which of these players will be come big leaguers or assets in trades.”