Author Topic: Post: "The Nationals had MLB’s smallest player development staff" Plan to fix it  (Read 202 times)

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Offline welch

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Maybe this goes in the Clubhouse, since it concerns development and the rebuild. And Clubhouse seems to get more readers.

Maybe in the Minors, since it talks about player-development staffing.

By Jesse Dougherty
Today at 8:23 a.m. EST

In 2021, the year they hit the reset button and placed a heavy emphasis — and heavy expectation — on developing young players, the Washington Nationals did not list a single nutritionist or mental skills coach in their minor league system. They didn’t have a full-time video staffer, a standard position for most franchises, at any level, leaving an intern to handle video and advance scouting at each affiliate, distilling information into a pair of iPads at every site. The Nationals also went the entire season without a catching coordinator, a basic role filled by every other organization, and acquired three catchers at the trade deadline in July.

When those players arrived, they found no minor league coach focused solely on their fundamentals or game-calling. The role was only addressed when Randy Knorr was reassigned in November.

“We were short on personnel,” General Manager Mike Rizzo told The Washington Post in November. “You saw it in the stress levels of some of the staff members. Some guys were doing double duty; we had infield coordinators managing teams. We felt this year that we were strapped and it was something that we had to address, and ownership knew it.”

The article says that only one other team carried fewer development staff than the Nats. (Oddly, the Nats have about as many as the Cardinals, a team I usually think is a good development organization). The Yankees and the Mets have more than 80 staffers, while the Nats had about 46.

Offline Slateman

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Just the Lerners being cheap.

The Nats had a chance to tear it down and rebuild. Instead they just shuffled deck chairs around.

This is gonna be a long rebuild.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I think folks will spot that there's something new in the Farm when they see the main index, so I'm inclined to keep this here.

Thanks, Welch, for posting the article excerpt and the link.  I saw it too and did not have time to post it.  The article mentioned that the focus until recently has been on major league scouting for guys who could be plugged in right away rather than finding a diamond in the rough of A ball. 

My sense is that they deceived themselves a bit by the Strasburg - Harper - Rendon - Giolito - Soto stretch where they felt they could consistently come up with an important piece a year, which led to both the "top heavy" reputation of the system as well as the attitude through 2017 that there's always another arm on the way so we can deal arms.  Over-confidence in the quality of the drafted arms (Meyer, Fedde, Romero, some of the TJ guys) led them to think they could backfill for the drain that year, which even at the time folks felt was a stunning amount of talent - Giolito, Lopez, Dunning, Treinen, and Luzardo.  Of those, only Treinen has over 6 years service time.  Now, when the player a year takes a step back (Robles) or hasn't shown up (Kieboom), that top heavy reputation reveals a huge gap. 

I don't know if it is LAC or arrogance.  My guess is there's a bit of the latter.

Online imref

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probably nearly 10 years of success led to them thinking it would continue forever?

Offline Slateman

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I think they should be looking at Giolito, Treinen, Cole,  Severino, Kieboom, and Robles, and top to bottom, revamp everything. These represent drastic failures that the team had to overcome

If the business model is going to be to let MVP caliber position players walk in free agency, then you need to figure out a way to develop their replacements.

Offline welch

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I was surprised at the detailed work that other teams do that the Nats do not. Or have not done before. Nutritionists? Minor league coaches dedicated to the catchers?

Kieboom has always looked like he needs some sort of support from a sports psychologist: he collapses under pressure. Did the Nats miss something when they drafted him? Maybe something related for Robles: he has always seemed over-confident in his physical ability, and he, too, collapsed when his raw ability alone failed in 2020. Thinking of his sad and worried face as he stood in the box this past season. Yet the Nats' publicity system always whispered "Robles reminds Expert_X of Willie Mays". (Off-hand, I think there is hope for Robles but none for Kieboom)

Anyway, look at the specialists that other teams employ.

By the way, I watched several Rochester games, thanks to MiLB-TV. Painful to see that the Nats organization sent such lousy players to an innocent town with a long history of minor league teams. Not a single prospect. Looking more like an independent league team, more like the Jersey Jackals.

Online imref

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from my untrained eye, Kieboom has always had a long swing that can't catch up to inside breaking stuff.  He doesn't make the kinds of in-at-bat adjustments that you see from other players, especially Soto.

Offline YadiSTAR aka Smithian

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Better late than never?

Offline welch

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The Athletic reports that the Nats have hired about 14 new people, including several for new positions. Among the notables: Joel Hanrahan ("Gas-Canrahan") is the new pitching coach at Fredericksburg.

The Nationals on Tuesday announced the hiring of more than 20 new staff members and the addition of 14 new roles for their player development system, a few months after committing to rebooting the whole thing in the wake of a failed season.

Among the new hires are former major leaguers Coco Crisp (outfield and base-running coordinator), Delwyn Young (Low-A hitting coach) and Joel Hanrahan (Low-A pitching coach). Crisp and Young spent 2021 coaching in the MLB Draft League. Hanrahan spent the year with the Pirates, for whom he served as a minor-league pitching coach for five seasons.

The Nationals also listed hires at all six affiliates in the position of development coach, a new role.

Other additions to the player development staff include a nutritionist (Emily Kaley) and a mental skills coordinator (Dana Sinclair).

The Athletic previously reported that former Phillies and Nationals hitting coach Joe Dillon had returned to the organization as a minor-league hitting coordinator.

Offline welch

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Nats communications staff has details of the minor league staff, at:

(The article does not seem to say what the '*' and "**" mean. Maybe "**" is a promotion from inside the organization, and '*' is a new hire or a new position.)

“We are incredibly excited to announce our expanded player development staff,” said Watson. “We added 14 new roles and brought in more than 20 new staff members to the system. This group boasts a wealth of playing and coaching experience at both the Minor League and Major League level. The expanded resources throughout the system ensure that our players will have everything they need to develop, improve and prepare themselves for the next level.”

Triple-A Rochester
Manager — Matt LeCroy
Hitting — Brian Daubach
Pitching — Rafael Chaves*
Athletic Trainer — Eric Montague
Strength & Conditioning — Mike Warren
#Developmental Coach — Billy McMillon*

Double-A Harrisburg
Manager — Tripp Keister
Hitting — Micah Franklin*
Pitching — Justin Lord**
Athletic Trainer — TD Swinford
Strength & Conditioning — RJ Guyer
#Developmental Coach — Oscar Salazar*

High-A Wilmington
Manager — Mario Lisson**
Hitting — Tim Doherty*
Pitching — Mark DiFelice*
Athletic Trainer — Don Neidig
Strength & Conditioning — Brandon Pentheny
#Developmental Coach — Mark Harris**

Low-A Fredericksburg
Manager — Jake Lowery**
Hitting — Delwyn Young*
Pitching — Joel Hanrahan*
Athletic Trainer — Kirby Craft
Strength & Conditioning — Ryan Grose
#Developmental Coach — Carmelo Jaime*

Florida Complex League
Manager — Luis Ordaz**
Hitting — Ender Chávez*
Pitching — Franklin Bravo
Athletic Trainer — Jacob Meyer
Strength & Conditioning — Shane Hill
#Developmental Coach — Destin Hood*

Dominican Summer League
DSL Field Coordinator/Manager — Sandy Martinez
Hitting — Freddy Guzman
Pitching — Edwin Hurtado
#Assistant Pitching — Feliberto Sanchez*
Infield — Wilson Valdez
Outfield — Emiliano Alcantara
Athletic Trainer — Miguel Cabrera
Strength & Conditioning — Santo Del Rosario
Latin American Training Coord. — Manny Moore
Tryout Assistant — Anthony Rosario

Staff / Coordinators

Director, Player Development — De Jon Watson
#Senior Advisor, Player Development — Dave Jauss*
Senior Advisor, Player Development — Spin Williams
Director, Minor League and Florida Operations — Ryan Thomas
#Director, Player Development Technology & Strategy — David Longley*
Assistant Director, Player Development — John Wulf
Assistant Director, Minor League Operations — JJ Estevez
Manager, Florida Operations — Dianne Wiebe
Player Education and Cultural Development Coordinator — Andrew Scarlata
Minor League Clubhouse & Equipment Coordinator — Carlos Felix
Minor League Clubhouse Operations — Scott Paquin
DSL Academy Administrator — Eduardo Castro
DSL Clubhouse Assistant — Edniel Rouancourt
DSL Academy Administrative Assistant — Lorena Rosario
Field Coordinator — Bob Henley
Assistant Field Coordinator — Jeff Garber
Hitting Coordinator — Joe Dillon*
#Lower Level Hitting Coordinator — Troy Gingrich
Pitching Coordinator — Sam Narron
#Lower Level Pitching Coordinator — Michael Tejera
Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator — Coco Crisp*
Infield Coordinator — José Alguacil*
Catching Coordinator — Randy Knorr
#Quality Control Coordinator — Bill Mueller*
Rehabilitation Pitching Coordinator — Mark Grater
Medical Rehab Coordinator — Gene Basham*
Assistant Medical Rehab Coordinator — Jeff Allred
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator — Gabe Torres
#Athletic Trainer — Cesar Roman*
#Mental Skills Coordinator — Dana Sinclair*
#Nutritionist — Emily Kaley*

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I'm loving the Billy Mueller hire

Offline blue911

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(The article does not seem to say what the '*' and "**" mean. Maybe "**" is a promotion from inside the organization, and '*' is a new hire or a new position.)

The key is on the MASN website. However you are pretty much spot on.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Offline YadiSTAR aka Smithian

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I didn't really believe they'd make big moves. But I see lots of new names and it is good to hear they created a bunch of new positions

Online UMDNats

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good to see us work really hard to get to the basic minimum of a competent MLB franchise