K-State Sports Extra: David Chadd

by Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - For David Chadd, it was one of those "Where am I?" moments.

Saying it was the first time he had been at Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium since its construction in 2002, Chadd was on hand last week for the Kansas State baseball game against the University of Minnesota.

"It (Tointon Family Stadium) really is amazing," said Chadd, the vice-president of amateur scouting for the Detroit Tigers. "It's one of the nicer facilities in the country. When I played, we didn't have anything. We had an old manual-operated scoreboard and an infield that we called 'The ghost of Frank Myers' because it was so rough. As an infielder, you had to play self-defense defense because it was so rough."

Chadd, a Wichita native, was a transfer to K-State from Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan., in 1987 and 1988 when he played under coach Mike Clark.

On teams that won 28 and 34 games with two fifth-place Big 8 Conference finishes, Chadd had a career batting average of .388, still a K-State all-time record, and a .418 average in 1988, which ranks third for a single season.

While always having a dream to play baseball at Wichita State, Chadd, a member of KSU's All-Century team, said, "I grew up a Kansas State fan, and the personality of the school really fit me. Quite honestly, this is a place where I knew I could come and play."

Chadd, a member of the state of Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame, later served as an assistant coach at K-State in 1992-94 before entering the scouting profession with the Florida Marlins from 1994 through 2001, the Boston Red Sox from 2002 through 2004, and with the Detroit Tigers since 2005.

The top scout in the Tigers' organization, amateur talents go through 16 area scouts, four regional cross-checkers and two national scouts before Chadd takes a personal look-see himself.

"It funnels through quite a few guys before I see them, but we're all looking for the same things," said Chadd, who also scouts the Tigers' minor league teams and is responsible for signing the top draft choices each season. "For position players, it's the five tools of hitting, hitting with power, arm strength, defensive ability and running speed. For pitchers, it's delivery, velocity, mastery of a secondary pitch and just how he works on the mound.

"At the end, you walk out of the park with a feeling whether he can be a major league player, and if so, how good he can be," said Chadd, who was looking at Minnesota catcher/outfielder Michael Kvasnicka on his trip into Manhattan last week.

While getting a good look at players during the collegiate season, much of the up-close looks are during the summer collegiate leagues where players use the wooden bats and games are played in more favorable weather conditions.

A scout for the past 16 years, Chadd says he's "content" to remain in that role and said he would have to think about a promotion into a general manager's position. "I enjoy living in Wichita, which is where my wife if from, and I'm pretty content with what I'm doing."