Even though his playing days ended in 2006, Kevin Jarvis remains a wanted man in Major League Baseball.
Jarvis, a graduate of Tates Creek High School and Wake Forest University, played 16 seasons of pro ball. Included were 12 seasons in the major leagues and one in Japan.
Now 40, he spent last weekend in his hometown, scouting for the Arizona Diamondbacks — one of 10 big-league teams for whom the right-hander pitched.
He appeared in only five games with the D-backs, but had close ties with several insiders, including General Manager Josh Byrnes.
Jerry Dipoto, director of player personnel for the D-backs, was Jarvis' teammate with Colorado. A.J. Hinch, director of player development, was once Jarvis' roommate.
Jarvis' pals asked him to join them in 2008 as a professional scout, "which means I evaluate guys already in professional baseball. I don't typically scout guys in high school or college, although I did a little special-assignment stuff this spring, seeing some SEC pitchers," Jarvis said.
The job is flexible, allowing Jarvis to maintain his home in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tenn. He and wife Elizabeth have a son, Bryce (12), and daughter, Kennedy (10 on July 10).
In town to scout the five-game series between the Lexington Legends and Rome Braves, Jarvis made a couple of trips home in order to see Bryce and his Franklin Spiders team capture the 12-under Tennessee state baseball title. Kevin left Sunday afternoon's Legends game in the seventh inning, getting home in time to throw batting practice for his son's championship game. He was back in Lexington for a noon-hour game Monday.
Kevin tracks the Cardinals, Astros and Pirates in the majors, plus several minor-league teams.
"Every team will have their own reports on every player in professional baseball, whether they be property of the Astros or property of the Diamondbacks or what have you," Jarvis said. "So if a player becomes available through free agency, through a release or through trade discussions, we have our own opinion or own evaluation of what that player is and might become."
Keeping ties to pro ball while leading a family lifestyle is ideal, he says. Coaching — and being tied to a team schedule — is not an option now, "but there are some front-office opportunities that I would certainly explore as time goes by."
Jarvis began his big-league career with the Reds, who selected him in the 21st round of the 1991 amateur draft.
He made his debut in 1994, facing the St. Louis Cardinals in old Riverfront Stadium.
"Davey Johnson (manager of the Reds) saw fit to bring me in with the bases loaded and Ozzie Smith up," Jarvis said. "He got a base hit up the middle. Then I got Gregg Jefferies to end the inning."
Jarvis went on to play for the Twins, Tigers, A's, Rockies, Padres, Mariners, Cardinals, D-backs and Red Sox.
He recalls special teammates, topped by Barry Larkin and Trevor Hoffman; an opening day start for San Diego in 2001; and three career shutouts.
Although he misses "the rush of competition" and "the sense of focus in terms of preparation ... mentally and physically," there are 10 good reasons to reflect and smile.
"Even though I didn't have the stable, storybook one-city career, to get to the big leagues and be able to stay there, I'm pretty proud of being able to put on 10 big-league uniforms," he said. "I think there's only 10 or 12 people in modern-day history that have played for 10 or more big-league teams, so I'm proud to have done that and had some longevity."