Quick Hits: Assistant GMs, Kjerstad, 2022 Draft

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There’s plenty of ambition to be found within baseball’s front offices, and yet for an increasing number of executives, remaining in a secondary role is a nice place to be, The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli and Eno Sarris write.  Whether in an assistant GM role or as a general manager working under a president of baseball operations, these “top lieutenant” positions tend to involve more job security, increased pay in recent years as teams try to prevent other clubs from poaching employees, and a lot less public pressure than being the head of a baseball ops department.  As one former GM put it, “there’s so much scrutiny on it that people are like, ’Screw it, I’m happy making a nice living and can be around my kids and go out to dinner without being recognized.’ ”

On the other hand, if there is relatively less movement amongst front office personnel, that can also lead to a stagnation of hiring practices.  This makes it harder for minority candidates to get opportunities for a notable front office position, let alone consideration for a PBO or GM job.  As White Sox executive VP Kenny Williams has observed, teams are increasingly hiring front office personnel lacking in baseball-related experience, and yet that same lack of experience is often cited as a reason why women or minority candidates aren’t given promotions to larger roles.

More from around the baseball world…

  • Heston Kjerstad might receive an invitation to the Orioles’ big league Spring Training camp, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.  It is a welcome bit of good news for Kjerstad, who is now fully recovered from the myocarditis that has thus far kept the second overall pick of the 2020 draft from beginning his professional career.  Kjerstad has gotten in some work at Orioles minicamps and in the fall instructional league, with the early returns against live pitching already impressing team coaches and evaluators.
  • Speaking of high draft picks, the top of the 2022 draft class figures to be heavy with position players, with MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis predicting that “at least eight hitters will go in the first 10 selections.”  This seems due to both a lack of standout college pitchers and an above-average group of hitters at both the collegiate and prep levels.  High schoolers Druw Jones (son of former Braves star Andruw Jones) and Termarr Johnson rate particularly well with Callis, who puts Jones and Johnson behind only Bobby Witt Jr. as the best position player prospects of the 2019-22 draft classes.

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