Nats still rely on pro scouts

Nats still rely on pro scouts
December 17, 2011, 5:31 am
Share This Post

Mike Rizzo earned his job as general manager of the Nationals the hard way, climbing the ladder over two decades as a scout with several organizations. Because of that, Rizzo will always have a soft spot for veteran scouts, and he insists on keeping several of them on his staff.

That's in stark contrast to what's going on right now in Baltimore, where new Orioles GM Dan Duquette revealed Friday he's dismantling nearly his entire pro scouting unit and relying almost exclusively on video and stats to evaluate players from other major-league and minor-league organizations.

The anti-scout movement has become a bit of a trend in baseball in recent years, but the Nationals continue to operate the old-fashioned way ... for the most part. The club did eliminate its advance scouting position last year, choosing to prepare for upcoming opponents off video scouting rather than having a human scout filing reports from the road the entire season.

But that's the only area in which Rizzo has gone with video over human eyes. He still employs several pro scouts, led by director Bill Singer and bolstered by a group of special assistants to the GM that includes time-tested scouts like Kasey McKeon, Bob Schaefer, Jay Robertson and Ron Rizzi.

Hey, when you spent most of your adult life scouting ballplayers in person, you've gotta continue to believe in the old-fashioned method of player evaluation.