Keeping with owner Dick Monfort’s blueprint, the Rockies’ latest big front-office change came in-house. And this time, change also came from within the family.
Sterling Monfort, 30, the owner’s youngest son, has been promoted to director of professional scouting. Sterling, who was serving as the assistant director of scouting operations on the amateur side, officially took over his new post Jan. 1.
“Sterling’s very qualified,” Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt said. “He’s become a very good scout and he’s earned this.”
Perhaps, but it’s quite a leap up the ladder.
Sterling began working with the Rockies in 2014 as a scout and was promoted to assistant director of scouting operations in 2018, working on the amateur side of the game. Now he’s charged with supervising the Rockies’ pro scouting personnel.
Sterling’s promotion has raised eyebrows within baseball from those who remain perplexed about how the Rockies’ front office goes about its business. His older brother, Walker Monfort, 35, has been the Rockies’ vice president of corporate partnerships for the past seven years and is entering his 13th year working in a full-time capacity for the club.
“Sterling has earned a reputation as a diligent, hard worker, but I think he’s out over his skis,” said one longtime veteran of the major league scouting industry. “I mean, Dick Monfort owns the club so he can promote his son if he wants to.
“But Sterling’s only been doing this for eight years and if his dad wasn’t the owner, I don’t know if he would be hired in the industry. For me, this is another example of the Rockies only looking inside their own organization.”
Sterling was not made available to talk to the media because the Rockies, along with other major league clubs, are allowing only a select few of their personnel to speak to the media during baseball’s ongoing lockout.
Schmidt, of course, is aware that Monfort’s promotion will be seen by some as nepotism, but he strongly disagrees with that viewpoint.
“I’ve told Dick (Monfort) this for years. I’ve said, ‘If you sold the club or something, Sterling would get hired — in a heartbeat,’ ” Schmidt said. “There are teams out there that would hire Sterling, as a cross-checker, right now. His work ethic is second to none.
“I was looking for someone to oversee our pro scouting and I think it was time for Sterling to take that step. He’s a good evaluator. I have a lot of trust in him overseeing our pro scouts as we move forward.”
Schmidt also noted that Sterling will have the benefit of working under the direction of Danny Montgomery, the longtime Rockies scout who now holds the title of vice president and assistant general manager of scouting. Sterling will also be aided by Marc Gustafson, the senior director of scouting operations who remains in charge of amateur scouting.
Sterling graduated from Eaton High School in 2009. He played first base for legendary coach Jim Danley and contributed to three state titles for the Reds. He graduated from Arizona State in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in tourism management and served an internship as a coaching assistant for the Grand Junction Rockies, the Rockies’ rookie-level minor-league team at the time.
Sterling completed his master’s degree in business management at ASU in 2014 before he became a scouting advisor for the team in May 2014.
For the past five years, Sterling worked primarily as a scout in California. He played a part in Colorado’s selection of UCLA first baseman Michael Toglia in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2019 draft.
“Sterling has always been very, very professional, and very informed,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “He’s a legitimate, solid communicator and a really good talent evaluator. He’s a guy who would be legitimately looked at in the industry as a high-level evaluator. I think he’s proven himself on the amateur side.”
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