Adam Lewkowicz ’02 was a bird dog. That’s baseball lingo for someone who volunteers to help a major league scout evaluate players. A four-year starter for Hamilton’s baseball team, after graduation he lived at home in Cottekill, N.Y., (“probably to my parents’ dismay,” he recalls) while working as an overnight hotel clerk and coaching high school football.

“I was doing anything to make a few dollars so I could keep my baseball dream alive,” says Lewkowicz, who as a boy dreamed of playing in the World Series. “My goal was to take small step by small step from there.” After serving as an unpaid scout for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pittsburgh Pirates hired him in 2006, and he joined the Texas Rangers three years later. Today he’s in his 16th season with the Rangers, who won the 2023 World Series after a roller coaster season. Now in his third year as director of Amateur Scouting Operations, he oversees 26 employees who each year evaluate nearly 1,000 high school and college players hoping to be drafted.

We caught up with Lewkowicz in his Fort Worth, Texas, home during the off season.

What’s the best part of your job?

There’s so much joy for me in the mental process of what I do. I love that someone pays me to sit at a ballpark and think about the future of a person I’m watching — how they might fit into our Rangers scheme, where they’re going to go in the draft, and how I can maximize their value.

You majored in psychology. What role does that play in scouting?

It’s a huge part of player evaluation — understanding the person and what drives him. Sometimes you go too deep. You read too much into things. You have to check those biases. Evaluating players is a combination of the subjective and objective. Bias is scouting. You can’t scout without it. You have to have seen hundreds of players to understand what “good” is. In the last few years, we started incorporating an analytical model to help make decisions. It finds the ideal way to blend those two worlds and help us stack players.

Meet people taking Hamilton’s motto to heart as they discover and explore their passions in an effort to make valuable contributions on College Hill and beyond.

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What’s the biggest misconception people have about your job?

People don’t understand how difficult it is for players to go from high school to the big leagues. They think getting drafted is a golden ticket to playing on television. It’s not. Almost every player goes to the minor leagues first. Only three percent of all draftees ever play one day in the majors.

Of the players you’ve scouted, who has dazzled you the most?

Left fielder Evan Carter. We drafted him in 2020 when he was in high school. He lit me up right away. I loved his swing, his attitude, and his effort. His physical and cognitive tests were all off the chart. We have draft meetings before we draft. When we discuss a player, very rarely does the entire room say, “Yes, let’s do this.” Evan was that player. He rocketed through our system and got called up last year when he was 21. He tremendously helped us win the World Series.

You played football in high school, but baseball became your passion. Why?

Football is a reactionary sport. You’re told what to do. I was a running back. When someone comes after you, you react to get out of the way. Baseball is so much more a thinking process. What’s he going to pitch me here? What’s the runner situation? How many outs? Should I shift myself in the field to defend the line? Should I move in the gap? I love that part of it. I love everything about baseball. I love putting the glove on. I love the way it smells. I love the grass and the dirt.

What’s your prediction for the 2024 season?

My first thought about 10 minutes after we won was “Wow! This is incredible. How do we do it again?”

banner image: Adam Lewkowicz with two things he’s proud of — the 2023 World Series trophy and his Hamilton Commencement cane.

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