Sunday, July 18, 2010

Post-Draft Q&A With DeaconSoule

. Sunday, July 18, 2010

With the Season 15 draft in the winds we sat down with the general manager of the Cincinnati Marauders to get his thoughts on the draft outcome.
Questions ranging from how he feels about their first round pick as well as how they determine who to take.

TWWT.com: Let's get right to it - What stood out to you about your first round pick Pedro Valenzuela?
DeaconSoule: We saw a kid with a lot of potential with the bat.
He has a great makeup and is constantly at work trying to get better.
We've been scouting him since he was a high schooler so we know quite a bit about what he can do.
He comes from a good background so that makes it easier to spend 2+ million on signing him.

TWWT.com: That seems to be a theme amongst your most recent draftees as of late.
DeaconSoule: Oh definitely, if you are going to invest the money into scouting these kids and bring them into the organization you have to know it will be a sound investment.
You don't want to draft a kid and then see him getting more publicity for off the field antics than on the field play.
We expect that when we draft you that you will represent the organization with pride.

TWWT.com: This selection was controversial to fans and the media as you guys passed up on some of the more lauded prospects in the draft to take him.
What would you say was the vibe on him amongst the scouts in the game?
Deaconsoule: I would say that it's far too early to get upset or excited about a pick from a outsider's perspective.
You have to understand that we don't not go off of what a baseball publication or so called insider says.
Our ways of scouting are completely different and I have to trust the guys that tell me "Hey, this kid is a major league ball player.".
Those concerns come secondary to us and me especially when it comes time to make the pick.
We knew that we were only going to have one pick in the top 4 rounds so we had to make it a home run. And for my money we did just that.

TWWT.com: If you had to make a comparison to a major league player for Pedro who would it be.
DeaconSoule: That's a tough question. He has so much potential with his bat that he could resemble a number of players.
But if i had to choose just one i would peg him as a Josh Hamilton type of player.

TWWT.com: Wow that's pretty high praise considering "insider" opinions of him before the draft.
DeaconSoule: As i said before. We have a certain way of doing things that don't show up in "insider" rankings.
We went into the draft hoping that someone in our top 10 would fall to us.
We had Pedro ranked fairly high and of the picks made in the first round.
Our top 10 all went before pick #30.

TWWT.com: I know that it's not exactly standard issue for teams. But could you talk a little about some of the guys you had pegged as potentially going before your first pick?
DeaconSoule: Of the guys that we were hoping but didn't expect to fall to us.
I would say that Rosco Stearns & Steve Witt would have been the biggest prospects from an impact standpoint. We didn't have them as #1 & #2 on our board but i would say they will likely have the biggest impact out of this draft.

TWWT.com: That's certainly some high praise for guys that you didn't have #1 & #2.
DeaconSoule: Well it's deserved as they are legitimate prospects for their respective clubs.

TWWT.com: Alright so back to your club now. Tell me a little about your draft strategy and focus.
DeaconSoule: Our strategy is to take the best player available whenever out pick comes up.
Regardless of position or need at the big league level.
If you take the player that you feel will be the best long term prospect then everything else will work itself out.

TWWT.com: Would you say you lean more heavily towards college or high school?
DeaconSoule: Honestly if you look at our history it's kinda obvious(laughs). We don't hide it very well at all.
We tend to lean heavily towards the high schoolers in the draft.
We love to grab high upside players who have the projectability to give us a high end player in the future.

TWWT.com: It's widely known that there was a huge revamping of your minor league system as a whole a while back. Can you delve into why that occurred.
DeaconSoule: Well to be honest it was badly needed.
We had started to miss badly on some of players we had taken. A lot of them got into the system and then flamed out before even sniffing the major leagues.
That simply could not continue to happen with this team. We were getting worse as far as record wise on the major league side.
So we had to start placing a serious value upon getting kids with high upside and cultivating them into the core of our future.

TWWT.com: Would you say that the plan going forward is to grab the best value at each pick in the draft?
DeaconSoule: Absolutely. There are often times where you have a guy slide due to the position he plays or because he projects as a RP instead of a starter.
This organization has thrived on getting guys like that either at the top or at the back end of the draft.
Often times you will see a dynamic power hitting first baseman or a polished college reliever fall to the mid to low 20's and you really can't pass up that top of top 10-15 talent to grab a need.

TWWT.com: Just one last question before we let you go. Do you expect your focus to be on the major league or minor league side going forward.
DeaconSoule: I would say it's going to be a lot of both. We don't plan on ignoring either side of the coin.
We are grabbing high quality prospects that could be part of the future of the club or valuable assets to trade for help on the major league side.
It will be a process of assessing the value and determining how to best help the organization.
If it's making a trade like we did with Jesus Leon then we will. If it's not making a move and keeping our farm hands then we will do that as well.
But the goal is make this team into a championship contender and deliver a winner to our loyal fans. Our ownership demands it, the fans expect it and we plan to deliver it year in and year out.

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