Meetings update: Venezuelan pioneer Reiner retires
The Rays announced today the retirement of special assistant Andres Reiner, who was one of the game's leading experts on scouting and player development in Venezuela. The team's academy in Venezuela is dedicated to Reiner, 76, who was with the Rays for six years after 17 with the Astros and one with the Reds.
Here is the team release:
Tampa Bay Rays Special Assistant Andres Reiner today announced his retirement, ending the career of a man considered one of the foremost authorities on scouting and player development in Venezuela. His career in amateur and professional baseball in Latin America spanned five decades.
Reiner, 76, spent six seasons with the Rays, helping lead the organization’s international outreach efforts in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. In 2007, with help from Reiner, the Rays celebrated the opening of their baseball academy in Guacara, Venezuela, a facility dedicated to him.
"I want to thank the Rays organization for giving me the chance to complete the project I presented,” says Reiner. “There were a lot of people who helped get my ideas into the minor league system and I am extremely happy to see that we are now producing players for the future.”
“No one has made a greater impact on the international scouting and development part of our industry than Andres,” said Rays Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Gerry Hunsicker. “He is a true visionary and has left a tremendous legacy for our game. His passion, energy and love of the game will be greatly missed by all of us that he touched.”
Prior to joining the Rays, Reiner spent 17 years in the Houston Astros organization, the last eight as special assistant to the general manager for Venezuelan scouting and development, and one year with the Cincinnati Reds. Throughout the previous three decades he served in a variety of baseball roles in Venezuela. Reiner was an instructor in the Venezuela professional minor leagues, helped to establish a youth baseball foundation in Valencia and recruited prospects to play in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Reiner is recognized as the founder of the Astros academy in Venezuela responsible for not only discovering promising young players and developing their skills, but also instructing them in English language classes, nutrition, social skills and basic finance. He helped produce stars such as Johan Santana, Bobby Abreu, Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and Melvin Mora.