Logan White And A.J. Preller: Perfect Partners With The Padres
When Logan White left the Dodgers front office to join A.J. Preller and the Padres, it resulted in an “ah-ha” moment. In seven years at the ballpark, many looks at the Hickory Crawdads (Single-A Rangers) and Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A Dodgers) provided insight into similarities between organizations run by Preller and White. And from what’s known about the player development preferences of Andrew Friedman, the new President of Baseball Operations for Los Angeles, ceiling and tools took a back seat to players with high floors. And from seeing many a Double-A Dodgers team, this doesn’t fit White’s style.
When living in Savannah, Single-A would allow the opportunity to scout a handful of players each year capable of touching 95 mph on the radar gun. Big velocity was an event and Hickory was always full of must see pitching prospects and a gaggle of young Latin shortstops.
The excitement of scouting Rangers prospects has lasted to this day. From Jurickson Profar (Scouting Report) and his smooth, all-around game to Roman Mendez (Scouting Report) touching 98 mph on the radar gun, Texas is an organization full of loud tools and exciting Latin prospects.
After a 2011 move to the suburbs of Atlanta, a handful of trips to Chattanooga proved fruitful from a pitching standpoint. Former first round picks Chris Reed (ROTOscouting Report) and Zach Lee (Scouting Report), along with a trio of pitchers who were later dealt (Allen Webster (Scouting Report), Rubby De La Rosa (Scouting Report) and Nathan Eovaldi (ROTOscouting Report) served as a headline act, but Logan White’s additions to the bullpen made leaving early impossible.
One after another, the Double-A Dodgers bullpen inserted pitcher-after-pitcher and each lit up the radar gun. Luis Vasquez touched 99 mph. Josh Wall touched 96. Jose Dominguez sat 95-98 for an appearance. At just 94 mph, Shawn Tolleson’s plus velocity lagged behind, but he’s proven to the best MLB pitcher of the bunch. The arms kept coming and it was a product of Logan White betting on velocity.
Logan White And Andrew Friedman: Both Great. Different Philosophies.
And while the Preller led Rangers and White led Dodgers had interesting players across the roster, the Rays proved to be a boring scout at every level. Over the years, ROTOscouting contributors have scouted Bowling Green (both South Atlantic League and Midwest League), Montgomery (Southern League), Hudson Valley (New York-Penn League) and Durham (International League).
Taylor Guerrieri (Scouting Report) was an impressive prospect, but had lost velocity from his prep days. Tim Beckham (Scouting Report) was disappointing. Desmond Jennings (Scouting Report) was better, but lacked impact. other than that, it’s been difficult to remain interested in their minor league system from a talent standpoint.
Plus, the Rays are more than happy to deal ceiling for floor and add upper level talent. The Nathan Karns trade was an excellent example of this as they swapped former first round pick Drew Vettleson and fireballer Felipe Rivero for a relative sure thing.
And while the national media panned the Rays for acquiring Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin (Scouting Report) and Willy Adames for its superstar, the organization played the probability game and chose floor over ceiling. When restricted financially, a bird in the hand is more valuable than a high ceiling prospect who’s years away. And while this approach may change with a bigger budget, Los Angeles’ crowded veteran outfield and plethora of bloated contracts makes Andrew Friedman an ideal candidate because he’ll avoid spending for the sake of spending.
On the other hand, the Dodgers dealt impact prospects (at the time) for impact players including Adrian Gonzalez. Part of this is because minor league talent begets Major League talent, but it’s also because of White’s ability to identify more with the help of his staff.
With the Dodgers in the midst of major organizational changes, Logan White’s talents will be a better fit with San Diego and a General Manager with a track record of dabbling in Latin America and chasing tools. In their respective positions, both White and Friedman are at the top of the mountain and few are as highly respected in the game. On the field of play, however, differences in philosophy are impossible to ignore.
29 Oct 2014 / Mike Newman /
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