Washington Nationals’ GM and President of Baseball operations Mike Rizzo talked earlier this winter about the club’s effort to reboot their organization from top-to-bottom after a couple rough years following 2019’s World Series win, starting things off with a series of trades at last July 30th’s trade deadline.
In addition to changes to the big league roster, Rizzo said he had plans for the front office and the player development roles within the organization.
“‘We were short on personnel,’” Rizzo told The Washington Post in November, in his attempt to explain his approach to this winter’s hires.
“‘You saw it in the stress levels of some of the staff members. Some guys were doing double duty; we had infield coordinators managing teams. We felt this year that we were strapped, and it was something that we had to address, and ownership knew it.’”
The goal, he told WaPost reporter Jesse Dougherty, was to add significant people at every level of the organization:
“‘As part of our rebuilding plan, we are investing in additional manpower and mind power this offseason which will ultimately increase our player development and minor league staff by at least 24%.’”
“‘We’re going to be active in adding staff at the scouting level and on the player development level,’” he said in November.
“‘Over the last couple years, with the covid setbacks, we lost a lot of personnel,’” he added.
“‘We need to rectify that and make sure that we’ve got the staff to scout players and develop players.’”
This morning, the Nationals announced the fruits of some of the club’s labors when they released a list of their minor league development staff for 2022.
“We are incredibly excited to announce our expanded player development staff,” the club’s new Director of Player Development De Jon Watson said in a press release on the full staff.
“We added 14 new roles and brought in more than 20 new staff members to the system.
“This group boasts a wealth of playing and coaching experience at both the Minor League and Major League level. The expanded resources throughout the system ensure that our players will have everything they need to develop, improve and prepare themselves for the next level.”
Some names you might recognize among the new additions:
Joel Hanrahan, a former Nationals’ reliever, is coming on as a pitching coach at Low-A Fredericksburg after he, “... spent the previous five seasons (2017-21) as a pitching coach in [the] Pittsburgh [Pirates’] Minor League system, most recently as the pitching coach for Triple-A Indianapolis.”
Destin Hood, a 2008 2nd Round pick by the Nationals, is a developmental coach with the Florida Complex League’s squad in his first full-time coaching gig, “... after spending the 2021 season as an instructor for the Florida Complex League Nationals in 2021.”
Bob Henley and Randy Knorr have new roles in the organization after serving as coaches on Davey Martinez’s big league staff.
Coco Crisp, the well-liked, former major league outfielder, is now a new Outfield/Base running Coordinator in the organization.
Plenty of changing roles, new faces, and more. Check out the full list while we wait for the lockout to end and player moves and signings to start again...