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Monday, October 17, 2022

Kevin Towers played, coached, scouted, served as ML GM almost two decades; Passed in 2018

Kevin Towers may have been young - just 34 - but Padres president Larry Lucchino knew Towers was the right choice in November 1995 to be the team's next general manager, according to The Escondido Times-Advocate.

"From our point of view, the essential skill (for a GM) is the ability to evaluate talent - at the amateur level, at the minor-league level and at the major-league level," Lucchino said then, according to The Times-Advocate. "Kevin Towers has a talent for talent."

By that point, Towers had played and coached in the minors, scouted and directed scouts. He went on to serve as general manager with the Padres for more than a decade, then with the Diamondbacks, before passing in 2018 at the age of 56.

Towers' career in baseball began in 1982, taken by the Padres in the first round of the June secondary draft out of Brigham Young University.

Towers started with the Padres at short-season Walla Walla. He went 1-4 in six starts, with a 4.74 ERA. He then made AA Beaumont briefly in 19983, then in 1984 and 1985. After two seasons at single-A, he made AAA Las Vegas in his final full season in 1988.

Towers then turned coach and scout. By 1994, he was the organization's director of scouting. In May 1994, Towers explained to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel the preference of organizations for college pitchers over high school hurlers.

"Why do teams prefer college pitchers? Because a lot of things can happen to a high school pitcher," Towers told The Sun-Sentinel. "A college pitcher has a lot more innings under his belt, has matured physically and may be able to help your club a lot quicker than a high school kid can."

After Towers took over as GM for 1996, the Padres improved quickly. By the end of his third season, they'd made the World Series with a team that saw 19 of 25 players on the roster there because of Towers.

As the Padres prepared to make their run to the World Series, Towers' moves even garnered Towers talk for Executive of the Year.

Towers "knows his stuff, which is why the Padres are the smallest market, lowest budget team in the playoffs," The Honolulu Advertiser wrote.

Towers continued as general manager with the Padres through 2009. He moved to the Yankees as a special assignment scout in 2010, then to the Diamondbacks as GM over four seasons.

In January 2018, he passed away at the age of 56 from thyroid cancer. After his passing, the Padres organization was among the many to mourn his loss.

"He led our Club with strength, conviction and unwavering determination, and was beloved by all who knew him," The Padres wrote.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,051
Made the Majors:1,346-33.2%-X
Never Made Majors:2,705-66.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:548
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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