Laurila: Q&A with Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on June 11, 2012:

The Washington Nationals are first in scouting, first in player development and first in the National League East. Mike Rizzo deserves much of the credit. The former scouting director became the Nats’ assistant GM in 2006 and he has been the general manager since 2010. Highly respected as a talent evaluator, Rizzo has helped build one of the most exciting young teams in baseball.


Rizzo on the impact of the new CBA on the draft: “The strategy and the philosophy are very important. You have to have a clear thought process as to what your end goal is before the draft has started. It takes some creativity and some foresight to really put your master plan in place. The [changes] impacted us. They impacted the strategy we employed in putting together our draft board, and in putting together our top-10-round picks.”

On scouting and player development: “To me, it’s a two-headed monster. It’s never just player development, and it’s never just scouting. The two go hand in hand. It’s a hand-in-glove type of thing, and I think the state of our scouting and player development systems has never been stronger here in Washington.

“Our philosophy is that we take the best player available, at all times. We also take [the type of] players that we’ve had success developing in the past.  The higher you take the player in the draft, the more secure I like to feel that he’s a developable player in our player-development system.

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Originally published: June 11, 2012. Last Updated: June 11, 2012.