Official: Nats have promoted Eddie Longosz to VP of Player Development

The Washington Nationals made their promotion official with Eddie Longosz taking on the position of Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Player Development and Administration in an announcement by Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, Mike Rizzo.

With a wide ranging search that we reported on weeks ago was down to three candidates that included Longosz who was the lone internal candidate, Rizzo made the decision to promote him from his role as Washington’s director of scouting operations for the past eight years. Prior to that, the 37-year-old was the team’s assistant director of scouting. In his most recent role, the team said that Longosz assisted Rizzo on all aspects of Washington’s amateur, professional and international scouting operations.

“Eddie Longosz has been integral to our organization’s success over the past 14 years. He is a tireless worker with extensive knowledge of our Minor League players, coaches and system as a whole.”

“He developed strong relationships with many of our current players during the draft process and has earned not only their trust, but the trust of those around them. Beyond his support of our draft operations, his expertise in emerging technology and analytics will enhance our process and make us more efficient.”

“Eddie is very well respected around the league, and I could not be happier to have him leading our player development system.”

— Rizzo said today

Longosz is in his 14th year with the Nationals after joining the organization in 2010 after graduating from the University of Richmond. He became a full-time scouting assistant in 2011, a role he held for four seasons before being promoted to assistant director of scouting operations in 2015.

Another interesting fact is that Longosz is a Washington, D.C. local growing up in Great Falls, Virginia with his parents who are both lawyers. He graduated from the prestigious St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. and later graduated college at Richmond in 2009 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. Per his LinkedIn, he is currently pursuing his MBA at NYU’s Stern School.

Longosz grew up playing baseball on travel teams in the area and continued playing baseball through high school and college. Baseball has always been a part of his life, and the Nats since 2005 as a fan of the team. It was a dream job getting a spot with the Nationals, and then marrying into a baseball family when he fell in love with a Nats’ intern, Natalie “Nat” Garagiola, and married in the turbulent offseason after the 2017 NLDS loss. While Natalie moved on from the Nats after dating Longosz, their joint love of baseball was themed into their wedding. The cocktail napkins read, “All you need is love and baseball #EddiesGotNatitude”.

Now while Garagiola might have become an intern with the Nats as a favor to her father, Joe Garagiola Jr., who happened to have been Rizzo’s boss 20 years ago in Arizona — Longosz got his job on his own. Some connecting of the dots might lead some to believe that nepotism is now in play here with Longosz getting this promotion. As we reached out to sources who know Longosz, one former Nats’ front office employee said Eddie earned this by his hard work and accomplishments.

Personally, I will remain in wait-and-see mode for results — just like I did with De Jon Watson and before him, Mark Scialabba. But not many want to wait and see. They will believe that this was about Rizzo’s love of his own internal hires. Maybe Longosz really was the best candidate. We will see. He has a lot of work ahead of him.

This is a results oriented business as we all are aware of. While Longosz was mostly on the scouting side, he worked on trade acquisitions and extensively on the amateur draft his year.

“It’s all true you can ask anyone in baseball. Nats never went by the traditional roles assigned. Eddie is a big part of that front office.”

— a former Nats’ front office employee told us

For Longosz, he has the ability to call his father-in-law for advice, and certainly Rizzo has been a mentor to him. Going forward, he has to build out his staff after several minor league coordinators were let go, as well as a minor league coaches. There really is no time to sit back and slowly assess the situation. There are some real issues in the system that included both Robert Hassell III and Elijah Green sliding downwards out of the Top-100 prospects rankings, as well as injuries to several top players in the system like LHP Jake Bennett and RHP Cade Cavalli.

Injury prevention and moving players forward are clearly the two main goals in player development. The team still boasts three top of the farm prospects in James Wood, Dylan Crews, and Brady House, and it will be Longosz’s job to make sure they are MLB stars when they get the call which will most likely be in 2024 if all goes well.

MLB Pipeline ranked the Nats’ farm system at №10 in March to go with Baseball America’s №7 ranking. The reason that Watson might be gone is because the team acquired Crews, Yohandy Morales, and Travis Sykora in the amateur draft and did not graduate one Top-15 prospect, yet the farm system slipped in Baseball America‘s rankings to №9.

Looking a few years into the future is like dreaming. Again, two years ago the Nats’ farm was ranked as one of the worst farm systems in MLB. Today, it is in the upper-third of all farm systems thanks to the haul received back in the Juan Soto trade and the top-heavy 2023 draft. While the draft has helped, the international signings have not produced much at all, and the team needs to hope they get something out of their expensive acquisitions of Armando Cruz and Cristhian Vaquero. There are enough team-controllable players and top prospects to fill every spot for the position players plus some backup bench spots in the year 2025.

“…Our objective we have is to win championships — not to be №1 in Baseball America.”

— Rizzo said to applause and laughs by the fans gathered at the Ballpark Bash event last year

Maybe Rizzo should order his rankings from the ala carte menu and take the best from each. Will he complain if next year the Nats are the №1 farm system? Doubtful. But chances are that Rizzo will be pulling top prospects up to the MLB roster in 2024, making it more difficult for Longosz to have a higher ranking. There is a chance that all three of the Nats’ Top-100 prospects will be playing in Washington in 2024 as well as Cavalli.

Last year was one of the few years you could compare apples to apples in the development system since no top prospects graduated. The Nats won’t have a Top-5 draft pick this year, and who knows when Bennett will be recovered from his TJ surgery. Longosz will need other prospects to step up big for this team with Hassell and Green under the magnifying glass.

“I’m optimistic. I’m excited about this time in our developmental curve with the organization. When you guys do get out there on the [Minor League side of camp], those prospects — it’s an exciting time. It’s the best group of upside players we’ve ever had here. I’ve been here since ‘day one’, and I’ve never seen it like this before.”

“You filter in — there’s 22, 23 and 24 year-olds [on the MLB roster], I think you see what we’re trying to accomplish here. That’s the first rung on the ladder to get back to a championship.”

— Rizzo said to start 2023’s spring training camp

With the team winning 71-games this year, next season could be a year to get into playoff contention. Longosz will get some credit for any prospects who get promoted and light it up. Baseball is all about results and what have you done for me lately. The player development system has their new guy, and he is officially on the clock.

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