Royals Announce Gene Watson Returns As Vice President/Assistant General Manager – Major League Scouting


KANSAS CITY, MO (September 17, 2021) – Kansas City Royals Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager, J.J. Picollo, today announced that Gene Watson has returned to the organization as Vice President/Assistant General Manager – Major League Scouting.

“I feel very fortunate that we were able to bring Gene back to our organization,” said Picollo. “He was an integral part in building our club to the championship level we experienced during his first stint here and I have no doubt he’ll have a huge influence in our future success.”

“We are delighted as an organization that Gene Watson is rejoining the Kansas City Royals, “said Baseball Operations President, Dayton Moore. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our baseball operations department but above all, he loves the Kansas City community.

Watson returns to Kansas City after spending the majority of this season with the Los Angeles Angels as Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Major League Operations. He had been with the Royals for 14 seasons, joining the organization in 2006 as a Major League scout, before being promoted to Coordinator-Pro Scouting in 2008 and then to Director-Pro Scouting in 2012. The Texas native has also scouted for the Marlins, Braves and Padres, while also a member of several USA Baseball selection committees.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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