|Front Office biographies
Neal Huntington, Executive Vice President & General Manager
Huntington oversees a talented and dynamic staff which was instrumental in the Pirates being named Baseball's 2015 Organization of the Year by Baseball America, the industry's most respected publication.
With a blend of analytics and traditional baseball thought, Huntington and his staff systematically built a playoff-caliber organization from a humble foundation in 2007. With increased scouting and the acquisition of talent through the draft, international signings, trades, free agency and innovative player development, Huntington constructed a club that won 98 games in 2015 and made the postseason for a third straight season - one of only three MLB teams to do so.
During his tenure, Huntington has overseen the rebuilding and reconfiguration of the Pirates front office, scouting and coaching staffs as well as the retooling of the Pirates 40-man roster and minor league system. Those efforts have played a role in the Pirates winning 280 regular season games over the last three seasons, the second-highest total in Major League Baseball behind the St. Louis Cardinals (287).
The Pirates have allocated significant resources into the First-Year Player Draft and toward international amateur talent acquisition which has resulted in the Pirates farm system moving from being one of the worst in MLB to among the best in the game, including a No. 1 ranking by Baseball America entering the 2014 season.
Prior to joining the Pirates, Neal worked as a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the 2007 American League Central Division champion Cleveland Indians. In his role as Special Assistant to the General Manager, Huntington served as an evaluator and advisor for Cleveland General Manager Mark Shapiro, providing recommendations regarding personnel, strategic planning and decision making. Neal also scouted major and minor league players and provided recommendations with respect to player evaluation, acquisition and retention. He also provided scouting evaluations on players within the Indians organization while doing advance scouting work for a portion of the Indians' opponents.
Huntington began his association with the Indians in 1998 as the Assistant Director of Minor League operations. In November of 1998, Neal took over as Cleveland's Director of Player Development. In that role he instilled a holistic developmental philosophy that focused on the systematic development of the person as well as the player. He also oversaw the Indians player development system, including Latin American Field Operations. After being promoted to the title of Assistant General Manager on November 1, 2001, Huntington assisted Shapiro in all areas of the day-to-day operation of the major league club, concentrating particularly in player evaluation, acquisition and retention.
Neal began his major league career in the Montreal Expos organization on June 1, 1992. He spent the 1994 campaign as the video advance scout for the Expos major league club and was then promoted to Assistant Director, Player Development after the 1994 season, where he assisted in all aspects of Montreal's Player Development system.
PERSONAL: Neal Alden Huntington ... Born on 2/4/69 in Amherst, NH ... Wife's name is Becca ... Has two sons and one daughter ... Along with his wife, supports the Pirates Charities Fantasy Baseball Math program, a learning tool that uses baseball statistics to teach kids important math skills (in 2015, more than 2,000 kids participated at 18 different schools, non-profits and after-school programs) ... Was raised on a family-owned and operated dairy farm in Amherst ... Played four years of baseball at Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1991 with a degree in Psychology ... Was named a Division III second-team All-American first baseman and first-team All New England first baseman after his senior season ... Also holds a Masters of Science in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst ... Received the Dr. Harold VanderZwaag 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UMass Department of Sport Management at Isenberg ... Was presented with the Dr. Freddie Fu Sports Leadership Award at the 79th Annual Dapper Dan Dinner and Sports Auction in February 2015 ... Was named the Mid-Atlantic Scouts Association 2015 Executive of the Year.
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