Sunday, August 5, 2012

Scouts, Alderson, DePo

Under Kevin Towers, who has more power in Arizona than he ever did as general manager of the Padres, the Diamondbacks appear to have ramped up their scouting efforts. I saw three Diamondbacks scouts this weekend here to watch the Padres and the Mets, and none of them is Arizona's advance scout. Towers no longer answers to Sandy Alderson, who in his time as Padres CEO was known to favor a smaller scouting staff. Towers preferred the Padres have an advance scout who attended road games, but the team didn't employ one while Alderson was CEO. As I've written several times, Jed Hoyer, with backing from CEO Jeff Moorad, who replaced Alderson in March 2009, beefed up San Diego's scouting staffs to get more information for the amateur draft and for evaluating minor leaguers. Moorad, heeding a suggestion by Padres assistant GM Fred Uhlman Jr., also hired an advance scout, Gregg Olson (a brother-in-law of Moorad's).

Alderson, in his second season as the GM of the Mets, was in Petco Park this weekend. He still has a home in Rancho Santa Fe. Also attending the series was Paul DePodesta, who followed Alderson from the Padres to the Mets and has continued to live in La Jolla. Alderson and DePodesta appear to face a long rebuilding project. The Mets lack impact players both in their everyday lineup and among their advanced hitting prospects. Whether Mets exec Jeff Wilpon is an effective leader is also in question. He's not a popular figure within the team's clubhouse. A clubbie, for example, was said to have been told by Wilpon this summer that players weren't wearing suitable shirts under their game jerseys, even though the shirts are MLB-approved. Wilpon's father, Fred, is the majority owner of the Mets. Quibbling about players' undergarments won't help Jeff Wilpon change perceptions that nepotism is a problem within New York's hierarchy.


  1. Do you know what Sandy Alderson would say if you asked him why he favored a smaller scouting staff?

    My first thought/guess was it was due to budget constraints ... ie. he choose to spend his budget on something he felt more likely to be more valuable than more scouts ... debatable? Sure ... but there trade-offs gotta happen sometime/somewhere ...

  2. Howard, I quoted Grady Fuson on the subject at least once and I'm pretty sure I quoted SA as well. Gist: Less is more, provided the scouts are really good. Too many voices can muddy the waters. That's regarding amateur scouts. As far as an advance scout, I recall SA saying the extensive video scouting, supported by statistics, was sufficient. On that score, about half of the MLB clubs agree with him.