Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bodes On Bodes

The best GM the Washington Nationals have ever known writes (speaks?) another column in the Washington Examiner. This one focuses on the team's farm system and their approach to evaluating players for the June Draft. It's an interesting inside glimpse, but there are some worries.
Later-round picks (five through 30) have been a problem for this organization the last several years. To remedy this, our scouting director, Dana Brown, has continuously improved and upgraded our scouting supervisors and regional cross-checkers. In addition, I have assigned three of our top professional scouts to now cross-check players likely to go in those rounds. Most clubs cross-check the top few rounds and depend on the supervisors to make the call on the later rounds. My philosophy is to have as many scouts as possible and to see as many players as possible. The more opinions you have, the better the chances you have of getting the picks right.

I trust you can make your own Preston Wilson defense joke, right? This is a good thing, it seems. They've recognized their weakness, and they've taken steps to try to find a solution.

We also do extensive research on make up, character, personality tests, brain imaging, family history, medical history, signability and mental toughness. In other words, we keep trying to find winning people

Brain Imaging? Hmmm... I'd be interested to see what they mean by that. I'm not the only one assuming phrenology, I bet!

I'd be interested to see what kinds of personality tests they use. The Orioles recently were mocked for the personality tests (and the tester) they used. [interesting... I can't find the original Ritterpusch story on the Washington Post's website. The Orioles had complained loudly that they thought the story was unfair, and that it released too much personal information. Might the Post have pulled it from the website? /tinfoil]

We have two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the June Free Agent Draft. We also have the budget to sign these players as long as the players agree to sign at market prices.

That's a pretty dangerous qualifier, and it's particularly worrying after Bowden's recent statement that he was kind of glad that the Angels signed Jeff Weaver because the Nats probably wouldn't have been able to afford an additional first-round draft pick.

Hopefully an owner will be in place, and we won't have to nickle and dime the process. Some players will certainly be out of reach, but the Nats can't afford (in many senses of the word) to let too much talent slip away.

When we’re not drafting pitching, we’ll draft hitters who can play defense. Besides make up, our philosophy is that they are the two most important tools of a position player....
After those two tools for position players, we look for one or more of power, running speed, and arm strength, preferably in that order. Remember, the bat gets a position player to the big leagues, even if they’re below average in all other areas

Fair enough. If there's one thing Bowden does well, it's draft hitters. Adam Dunn says "Hi"!

Some good, some bad... but an interesting look overall.

Despite the improvements that have been made, I'm still not sure I want Bowden in charge of the whole operation, but it certainly seems like Dana Brown has them heading in the right direction.


  • Bowden also has his division picks:
    » AL East: New York Yankees
    » AL Central: Chicago White Sox
    » AL West: Anaheim Angels [me: who?]
    » AL Wild Card: Oakland A’s
    » NL East: Atlanta Braves
    » NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
    » NL West: San Francisco Giants
    » NL Wild Card: Three-way tie between Nationals, Mets and Phillies

    No love for the Marlins? Good!


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