SAN FRANCISCO – Back when Jack Hiatt stepped down as the Giants’ farm director in 2007, he said it was “time to turn it over to someone younger than me.”
He did. Hiatt was 65. Fred Stanley, the new director of player development, was 60.
Six years, two World Series title and one Buster Posey later, Stanley sensed his time was up, too. He has tendered his resignation, CSNBayArea.com has learned, and the Giants are expected to fill his role internally.
“Without getting into a whole bunch of stuff, it’s better I say it’s time for me to step away,” said Stanley, who resigned before the Giants could make a decision whether to extend his contract.
“I’ve had a nice run and I appreciate the opportunity the Giants have given me over the last 13 years.”
The decision must be amicable, since the Giants have expressed an openness to keeping Stanley in some kind of instructional or advisory position. Hiatt remains in the front office as an advisor as well, and was a key voice in the decision to take Posey with the fifth overall pick in 2008.
Stanley’s final duties were to oversee the club’s instructional league in Arizona, where prospects are invited for additional instruction and scrimmages against other camps.
“It’s nice to see the Belts and the Crawfords and the Pablo Sandovals and Hector Sanchezes coming up, and not just them, but all the players like a Juan Perez who does the little things, ends up leading the (outfielders) in assists,” Stanley said. “We ended up not winning this time, but you can’t overlook the contributions of the kids who came up.”
Stanley has spent 46 years in baseball, including a 14-year big league career as an infielder for the Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Oakland A’s. A defensive specialist who went by the nickname “Chicken,” Stanley earned World Series rings with the Yankees in 1977 and ’78.
He spent nine seasons in the Brewers organization, rising to assistant GM, before joining the Giants in 2000 as a minor league manager.
They never all pan out, of course, and Stanley had his share of puzzles that he and his coaches haven’t been able to solve, beginning with former first-round pick Gary Brown. Stanley leaves a system that has plenty of live arms but none ready for the big leagues, and a relative paucity of premium hitting talent.
Two top candidates to replace Stanley figure to be roving instructor Shane Turner, who managed several years at Triple-A Fresno, and former Giants catcher Steve Decker, who rose through the ranks from managing short-season Salem-Keizer all the way to Fresno before accepting a position as organizational hitting coordinator.