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Washington Nationals news & notes: Rise of Eddie Longosz

Notes and quotes from the Nationals’ new Farm Director, Eddie Longosz, who was promoted this winter...

Back in early November, Washington's Nationals, “… announced the promotion of Eddie Longosz to Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Player Development and Administration.”

Longosz, 37, and in his 14th season with the organization, “was promoted to this role after spending the last eight years as Washington’s director of scouting operations,” the club noted in a press release on the promotion.

“He was promoted from assistant director following the 2015 season.

“In his role, Longosz assisted [GM and President of Baseball Ops] Mike Rizzo on all aspects of Washington’s amateur, professional, and international scouting operations.”

“Eddie Longosz has been integral to our organization’s success over the past 14 years,” Rizzo said in the press release.

“He is a tireless worker with extensive knowledge of our minor league players, coaches, and system as a whole. He developed strong relationships with many of our current players during the draft process and has earned not only their trust, but the trust of those around them. Beyond his support of our draft operations, his expertise in emerging technology and analytics will enhance our process and make us more efficient.”

“Eddie is very well respected around the league,” the Nats’ GM added, “… and I could not be happier to have him leading our player development system.”

“Going into my 14th season it was a little bittersweet transitioning from scouting to player development,” Longosz acknowledged when he spoke with reporters, in December at the Winter Meetings:

“But when this came up, the former farm director — and a couple other people — said, ‘You have to go for this. It would be a great opportunity for you, great for your career, building your resume and great for the organization.’ So I was excited, interviewed for it, it went really well with [Rizzo] and a couple of others, and I always — in scouting, the day the draft ends, you move on to the next year, and I was always upset I really never built relationships with the players. And now I get to do that component, which I’ll like a lot for sure.”

When Rizzo talked at the Winter Meetings, he explained at length why he wanted to have a former scout, generally, and Longosz, in particular, take over as the farm director.

“I always want my farm director to be an evaluator,” Rizzo explained, “... because they’re evaluating probably as much as any scout that any team has, because they’re evaluating, they’re putting teams together, they’re moving players up and down, they’re switching arm angles and deliveries, and all that stuff, so they have to know players, they have to be evaluators, that’s one.”

Longosz, he continued, has that scouting background.

He joined the organization in 2010, “... became a full-time scouting assistant in 2011, a role he held for four seasons, before being promoted to assistant director of scouting operations in 2015.”

“To me he’s an innovator,” Rizzo said.

“He’s a communicator, and he’s a motivator. I think that he speaks very well the baseballese but he also knows the analytical part of it and kind of can mesh the two together in a language the players can understand. And he’s a likable guy. He’s a likable guy, he gets along with a lot of people. But he’s smart.”

Longosz talked about how he became more comfortable with the analytical side of scouting over the years, and how he’ll handle the balance between old and new approaches to player development.

“Mix. Completely. It’s going to be a big collaboration,” Longosz said.

“We started the Strategy and Tech group basically two years ago, so it’s new to all of us, but we’ve implemented a lot. TrackMan, Hawkeye, Rapsodo, edgertronic cameras, we’ve just added force plates, so we’re going in the right direction. That team, partnered with the biomechanics team has done a really great job making player plans throughout the season and offseason, so I’m really excited about that, and the players are buying in, they want this information, which is the key. Because you have to have their trust and they want to be able to do this, but there will also be that blend too of the philosophies from the traditional hitting, traditional pitching, so it’s going to be a group effort, which will be great.”

The system he’ll be overseeing, which has changed dramatically since the club kicked off their organizational reboot at the trade deadline in 2021, has Longosz excited as he takes the reins.

“First of all, the position players,” are an impressive group, he said.

“As you know, we have a plethora of really good outfielders, infielders, young talent. A lot of them are homegrown, obviously we got a couple in the trade. But they’re all great players and great human beings, too, which is important to me, where character speaks a lot and all of them are really great on and off the field, too.”

“We have some good arms, too,” he added. “Obviously some of them, Jake Bennett is an example with his injury, but [Jarlin] Susana, what’s not to like about him? So it’s exciting. We’re in a really good place and it’s coming into a winning system, which I’m excited about.”

Rizzo said he is excited about the growth he’s seen in Longosz during their time together, and eager to see him continue to grow in his new role.

“I talked to [Senior Advisor, Player Development] Dave Jauss,” Rizzo said, “... who has been around a lot of good farm directors, he was one himself, and [he] was with [Pirates’ GM] Ben Cherington when he became a farm director, and has moved his way up to be a great GM, and we see the same characteristics in a lot of these guys as we do with Eddie.”