The Winter Of Jack Zduriencik’s DiscontentSeptember 13th, 2012 by terrybenish
If you think of Jack Zduriencik as a player development guy, that can not take that hat off no matter how long is new title rests on his head the better you start to see why what has gone on and the the hole in his game or what he is blind to as he works this franchise.
People that come into baseball as a scout make their bones by finding players and having their team draft and sign them. The further up the chain the players go, the more money a scout makes. If they do it often enough they advance up the food chain as area cross checkers and assistant director of player development then director of player development when the whole thing is your responsibility and the whole organization is involved in evaluation and scouting of your own talent.
A first round player is almost guaranteed to to make it to the major leagues, if the guy has the physical talent and does not get hurt, the team demands that the signing bonus be recouped. The player dev guys literally own and are invested in the success of that guy to the point of their career upside. As you work down in the draft rounds, less and less so. Mike Piazza’s story of getting drafted late and making it to the bigs and being great at the top level is almost a fairy tale, if it were not for actually seeing him and seeing his numbers in Baseball Reference.
Think about, nobody in the whole player dev side has any skin in the game or on the kid’s success. I can tell you if the kid does good, it almost pisses off the guys that have a player that is drafted higher. The top guy can screw up, over and over again, whereas the Mike Piazza has to hit .500 to avoid being released.
Justin Smoak is not a guy that Zduriencik drafted but is a guy that he wanted to draft and a guy that he traded a high perceived value player in rent-a player Cliff Lee. Rather than see the abject failure he has his scouting rose colored glasses on. He is blind to Carp, he is blind to Rich Polythress, he is blind to John Jaso.
Similarly Ackley to Seager. Seager barely made the roster, did not figure in lineup until Carp got hurt in the absolutely idiotic decision to play him in left field and the even stupider trip to Japan. Even now that Seager has busted out, Ackley is still considered the GUY, even though Seager is a better second baseman and clearly can play third base.
Similar has been the disposition of Bavasi’s drafted players. They’ve been thrown out in trades left and right regardless of performance. See Michael Pineda.
If Zduriencik is to succeed as a GM he has to grow beyond this. If a guy produces he should play and figure in the team’s plans. If he can’t no matter when he was drafted he should not. Listening to Jack talk about Smoak last week, suggests his growth will be difficult if not impossible.
Breaking News on Mariner Idiocy: The Mariners signed a letter to the City Council Opposing the agreement reached between the City Council and Chris Hansen. That Howard Lincoln would pursue a course that will develop extraordinary ill will with Mariner fans suggests he is as equally stupid as he’s been in the last ten years in direct efforts to run the Mariner as he will be going forward. I don’t have the Mariner’s stadium agreement in front of me, but given my old softball buddy Bart Waldman being on the case it suggests that their might be advantage to the Mariners in this fight, such as breaking their deal with the City and its fans.
Cougar Mania Revisted:
Jim Moore hard over on the Huskies this week, which suggests he fears the road game with UNLV Friday night, the second straight high school team the cougars have played. Larry from Lemolo called in and said that he heard that Leach actually kicked Tuel in the knee. I said I’d have to see photos or videos.