The Dodgers front office is continuing to develop under Andrew Friedman, and yesterday Farhan Zaidi was named the General Manager, while Josh Byrnes was given the title of Senior Vice President Of Baseball Operations. Those are their titles, but Zaidi will primarily be working with the club moves done at the major league level, while Byrnes will oversee scouting and player development in the minors. Additionally, there’s the report that Padres Scouting Director Billy Gasparino will come on board as the Director Of Amateur Scouting, Padres scout Jeff Pickler will also reportedly be hired in some capacity, and Minor League Pitching Coordinator Rafael Chaves is leaving for the Phillies.
It’s a lot of movement to digest, but there’s reportedly one more significant move to come, one that was heavily rumored earlier because of a mental boner on his part, and that’s Gabe Kapler coming on board as the Farm Director (according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles).
I don’t need to recap all the reasons to be excited about his addition, since Mike already did that back when the rumor broke, but I find his addition in this particular role to be especially intriguing. Not only have I long thought that the Dodgers player development was lacking anyway, but now they’ve hired a forward thinker in an area that I haven’t seen many teams attack yet. It’s not only about his knowledge and passion for nutrition and weight lifting (though that plays a big part), but also his ability to communicate and bridge the gap between what analytics tells us and him having the credibility to actually convey that to minor leaguers.
Kapler’s open-mindedness to new things and the realization that he’ll have to adjust along with the players is comforting since he steps into a role that, despite all the optimism about his credentials, he’s still completely unproven in.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to ideal communication within an organization. Trial and error will be required every step of the way. These questions can no longer be set aside, however. The data is there for the taking and the playing field is evening out. Extra wins will be tallied in the column for the team that best disseminates their goods.
The hills are flush with gold and everyone knows about it. Go.
Baseball media’s loss is the Dodgers gain in this case, and I can’t wait to see if the results eventually match.
With all the hyped Dodgers front office moves, there’s always ample room for healthy skepticism, especially since a lot of them haven’t proven a thing yet in their careers, but that’s no reason to shy away from that feeling of optimism. Because from my view of how things are shaping up, if you’re excited about this new front office, you’re right to be.