Feb. 13, 2013
Four former Siena baseball players are making major moves in their careers as professional baseball scouts. Jim Howard '84, Todd Donovan '06, Mike Serbalik '93 and Jim Buckley '02 each accepted new roles this year evaluating professional baseball prospects.
"It's pretty special to have four former players holding such important jobs in professional baseball," Siena coach Tony Rossi, who begins his 44th season Friday night when Siena faces Central Florida in Orlando, said.
Howard was recently named a special assignment scout for the Baltimore Orioles, an organization he has worked for since 1988. Howard has twice been named the Jim Russo (Orioles) Scout of the Year (2004 and 2009), and he was inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame in 2011. Howard was inducted into the Siena Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Capital District Baseball Hall of Fame this past October.
Donovan is in his fourth year with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and his first as a national cross-checker. Donovan began his scouting career as one of Arizona's 10 Major League/Professional Scouts in 2010 before transitioning to the amateur world where he advanced quickly, serving as Northeast supervisor last year. Donovan played 11 years of professional baseball beginning in 1999 for seven different organizations (San Diego, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland, Baltimore, Texas, Oakland and Toronto). In more than 800 professional games, Donovan collected 823 hits, 551 runs scored, 31 home runs and 346 stolen bases. Once a member of the San Diego Padres 40 man roster, his playing career year came to an end 2009. He was inducted into the Siena athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2010.
Serbalik has taken over Donovan's position as a Northeast regional scout for the Diamondbacks after serving as associate scout for the Houston Astros (2010-11) and Cincinnati Reds (2011-12). Serbalik was an all-state shortstop at Siena, earning honorable mention All-America status and ranking as one of the top-20 players in the country at his position by Baseball America. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1992 June amateur draft, and played professionally in the states and overseas in Italy. Serbalik is the founder and owner of the All Stars Academy in Latham.
Buckley joins the scouting profession as a Southeast regional scout for the Kansas City Royals after spending the last decade as a professional player and manager. He was drafted in 2002 by the Boston Red Sox and spent five seasons playing for the organization reaching AAA-Pawtucket three separate times. Buckley served as manager of the Sag Harbor Whalers in the Atlantic League from 2010-12.