Nats Add Another Young Gun to Scouting Department

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, October 20, 2008 | , , | 5 comments »

Here's the press release from the Nats:

NATIONALS HIRE DERIC LADNIER AS NATIONAL CROSSCHECKER AND SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO GENERAL MANAGER

The Washington Nationals today announced the hiring of Deric Ladnier as a National Crosschecker and Special Assistant to the General Manager. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Deric is among the elite talent evaluators in baseball and we are excited to add him to our staff,” Bowden said. “Deric has a proven track record in the industry, encompassing both scouting and player development.”

An 18-year veteran in scouting and player development, Ladnier joins the Nationals after serving the last nine seasons as Senior Director of Scouting with the Kansas City Royals. During his tenure with the Royals, he oversaw eight drafts while restructuring and stocking the organization’s player development system with prospects such as 24-year-old Alex Gordon (Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year and named J.G. Spink Award winner as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year in 2006), 25-year-old Zack Greinke (Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year in 2003), 25-year-old Luke Hochevar (first-overall selection in 2006 First-Year Player Draft), 22-year-old Billy Butler (named best power hitter and second-best prospect in Royals organization by Baseball America entering 2006), 27-year-old Mike Aviles (seventh-round selection in 2003 First-Year Player Draft, hit .325 in 102 games this season and is candidate for American League Rookie of the Year), 20-year-old Mike Moustakas (second-overall selection in 2007 First-Year Player Draft, hit 22 home runs in first full professional season), and 18-year-old Eric Hosmer (third-overall selection in 2008 First-Year Player Draft).

Ladnier began his scouting career as an Area Supervisor with the Atlanta Braves in 1991 and advanced within the organization until he was named Director of Minor League Operations in 1996, serving as a Regional Supervisor and Assistant Director of Scouting and Player Development along the way. During each of his eight seasons with the Braves, they were recognized as having one of the top six player development systems in baseball as ranked by industry-expert Baseball America. They were credited with the top minor league talent pool in four of those seasons.

The 44-year-old began his career in baseball as an infielder in the Royals organization. He was selected in the eighth round of the 1985 First-Year Player Draft and remained with the Royals until his seven-year playing career was cut short by a shoulder injury in 1991. Ladnier played collegiately at the University of Mississippi.

BOTTOM(FEEDER) LINE: Here's another bright young baseball mind to add to the collection of talent pooling underneath general manager Jim Bowden. Ladnier got his start in Atlanta, which makes this a Stan Kasten hire. Hopefully this is more evidence of Kasten's deeper involvement with -- and commitment to -- the organization, keeping the conspiracy theorists at bay this week.

Ladnier has a good track record as Director of Scouting with the Royals, and has been on the "hot list" of future GMs in the game.

5 comments

  1. Will // October 20, 2008 at 2:49 PM  

    Seriously? Over eight drafts the best this guy can claim is Gordon, Greinke, Butler, Aviles, Hochevar and Moustakas??
    That's Jim Bowden-like bad. Has he not drafted one proven big leaguer?

    I'm all for improving our farm system, but when Zach Greinke is the best you can claim for eight drafts, that's NOT a "proven track record", especially when the Royals have had TWELVE first + supplemental round picks under this guy, including SEVEN top ten picks.
    In case you're wondering, no one from rounds 2-6 has had any negligible impact in the majors. (I was going to give him credit for DeJesus, but, whoops, that was the year before he joined the Royals. He also drafted Ryan Braun... too bad it a different player.)

    I had no idea the Royals drafted this poorly until now. No wonder they've been stuck in the cellar of the AL Central. And Deric Ladnier is considered responsible for this mess? Yikes.

  2. Dave Nichols // October 20, 2008 at 3:56 PM  

    hi Will, thanks for the comment.

    all those guys mentioned in the press release, except for Aviles, are all 25 and under still. they are all considered top talent (esp Moustakas and Gordon). it's hard to call a guy "Jim Bowden-like bad" when none of his players really have had a chacne to grade out yet. gratned, Hochevar has been disappointing so far, but even still he has time to right the ship.

    but your right at some point--the press release makes him sound like the second coming of John Schuerholz. typical Nats PR of overhyping and underdelivering? we'll have to wait and see. regardless, it IS more evidence of investing in scouting and development.

    best,
    Dave

  3. Wil Nieves // October 20, 2008 at 6:48 PM  

    More info on Jim Bowden's troubles during the season, from the Washington Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/20/AR2008102002034.html?hpid=topnews

  4. Dave Nichols // October 20, 2008 at 11:50 PM  

    thanks Wil. i did see that article. i certainly have compassion for Jim Bowden, the man.

    his actions (or, non-actions) regarding his health concerns over the summer though are troubling and probably say more about Mr. Bowden than any words could.

    I do hope he truly has seen the light and will take better care of hiimself in the future.

  5. Anonymous // October 21, 2008 at 11:47 AM  

    yes,is good to add scouts and evaluators but the botton line is you need to get the talent under contract,mr ladnier was fired becaused of lack of results to draft players that can make diferents ,he did not,mike rizzo is there for that and mr ladnier is not mike rizzo or rizzos pick i am sure,not went he was {rizzo}build a winner in arizona included a cy young winner in webb just to mention one of many regulars in the line up,it takes a proving record,this look like a political hiring kasten bringin some one he knows and bowden accepting for futures favors,i really wonder where is rizzo doing now?