WASHINGTON – De Jon Watson was about 16 years removed from his days as a minor league player in the Kansas City system when he interviewed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004.
Among those that interviewed him was Logan White, a former college pitcher in New Mexico and in the minors and a one-time area scout for the Baltimore Orioles.
Watson got the job and was with the Dodgers as an assistant general manager in player development from 2005 to 2014.
As part of the Washington Nationals’ organization since 2017, Watson will be the new farm director of the Nationals, the Athletic reported on Monday.
Hearing De Jon Watson will be the Nationals new farm director. Was previously special assistant to GM Mike Rizzo.— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) November 15, 2021
“We worked together a long time,” White, the former scouting director for the Dodgers, told Federal Baseball on Monday night from Arizona, where Watson has also lived.
“He works well with people. One thing with De Jon, he has the scouting background. He understands the process.”
White, who works in player personnel, is now the senior advisor to the general manager with the Padres and has known Watson for a long time.
“He has worn so many hats in the game that he has a really good feeling for it; he is a tireless worker; he works his butt off. He genuinely cares about the players and how they do,” White said.
Watson, 55, was drafted in the third round out of West Los Angles Community College in the January phase of the draft in 1984 by the Padres, but didn’t sign.
He then went in the third round in 1985 and was taken by the Royals.
Can confirm that De Jon Watson will be the Nationals’ next farm director (official title will likely be director of player development). Watson has most recently been a special assistant to GM Mike Rizzo. @Britt_Ghiroli was first on this.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) November 15, 2021
Watson worked for about two years for Arizona after leaving the Dodgers in 2014.
“We could talk and share and were good at collaborating,” White said.
Watson and White were both instrumental in the career of Kenley Jansen, the veteran closer for the Dodgers.
“He called me and said maybe it is time we convert him from a catcher to a pitcher,” White said Monday. “I said, go for it. He had the talk with Kenley to make him a pitcher but we collaborated very well. He works hard, he is smart, he is intelligent. To me he is one of the most well-rounded people in the game.”
As a player, Watson reached the Single-A level as a first baseman in the Kansas City system.
He played for the Baseball City Royals in the Florida State League in 1989 and other players that season for the team were future big leaguers Sean Berry, Jeff Conine, and Brett Mayne.