Laurila: Jason McLeod on scouting and player development

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on June 27, 2014:

Jason McLeod’s official title with the Chicago Cubs is Senior Vice President, Player Development and Amateur Scouting. Prior to assuming his current position in November 2011, he worked in the same capacity for the San Diego Padres. Before that he was the scouting director for the Boston Red Sox.

McLeod’s track record – particularly on the amateur scouting side – is impressive. Players drafted under his watch include several big-league all-stars. More recent picks populate top-prospect lists.

The 42-year-old McLeod is slated to interview for the recently-vacated general manager position in San Diego. This interview was conducted prior to Josh Byrnes being fired and McLeod being reported as a possible replacement.

McLeod on scouting, player development and collaboration: “When you look at teams that have historically done well — the Cardinals are an easy example — from an outsider’s perspective you try to glean as much information as you can on how they’ve gone about things. Certainly, you want to model yourself after the organizations that have been most successful in scouting and player development.

“There’s been this adage of scouts versus player development guys, but in my experience I’ve never seen a clear case of we-do-what-we-do and you-do-what-you-do. At least not to any extreme. I’m not sure exactly how many organizations have one guy overseeing both departments, but I’d guess it’s 8-10. I’ve been in that role for a few years now, and I think it‘s obvious that communication is big. 

“Scouts — amateur scouts — have a job to do. The scouting director needs a staff and a process in place to make the best decisions possible on draft day. We all know that. You’re trying to pick the most-talented players, the guys with the most upside who can provide the biggest impact for your organization.”

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Originally published: June 27, 2014. Last Updated: June 27, 2014.