How Former Royals Scouting Director Ranks Among MLB Players Produced

Mike Stobe

The Royals have stressed "building from within" since the inception of the franchise. How are they doing?

Conor Glassey at Baseball America has an interesting article where he examined Major League players on Opening Day rosters and separated them by who was scouting director when those players were drafted. The list excludes non-drafted players (which puzzles me a bit - shouldn't be all that difficult to find out who the scouting director was when a player signed, and its in Latin America that I think scouting director really show their worth by identifying raw talent).

The scouting director that drafted the most players on opening day rosters is Jeff Luhnow, now the General Manager of the Astros, but served as scouting director for the St. Louis Cardinals for many years. The Cardinals have been churning out home-grown players, leading the league in such players last year. Luhnow's drafts have produced 21 players on MLB rosters this week, including names like Allen Craig, Jaime Garcia, and Chris Perez.

David Chadd of the Tigers (and a few years with the Red Sox) is second on the list. The Tigers get a bit overlooked in their ability to produced home-grown talent since they make a bigger splash in free agency, but under Chadd they've produced solid players like Alex Avila, Matt Joyce, and Rick Porcello.

Roy Clark of the Braves is third. Clark is considered a guru among scouting directors and in terms of quality over quantity, he might be tops. Jason Heyward, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Adam LaRoche, Tommy Hanson, Freddie Freeman, Yunel Escobar, Craig Kimbrel...even Frenchy! Its an embarrassment of riches.

Checking in at eighteenth on the list is former Royals scouting director Deric Ladnier. Ladnier was Royals scouting director from 2001 to 2008, and there are currently eleven Major Leaguers that Ladnier had a hand in drafting - Angel Sanchez, Zack Greinke, Mike Aviles, Billy Butler, J.P. Howell, Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer.

In 2008, the Royals dismissed Ladnier and replaced him with J.J. Piccolo. Piccolo's drafts have not had a chance to bear much fruit, and the only Major Leaguer on a roster right now drafted by Piccolo is Aaron Crow. Wil Myers and Louis Coleman will both almost certainly be on MLB rosters this year. Kyle Zimmer has an outside shot of getting a cup of coffee if the team is very aggressive. But other than that, everyone else is either too far away (Bubba Starling) or pretty marginal (Christian Colon).

Did Ladnier do a pretty good job? Should he have been replaced? Thoughts on Piccolo's drafts (2009-2012) thus far?

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