Nationals bolster scouting department

Nationals bolster scouting department

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals/Expos had a small scouting staff due to their limited budget from 2002-05, and could not afford to travel to Latin America or Asia to scout potential big-league players.

Those days officially ended Tuesday, when the Nationals bolstered their scouting department by adding 10 scouts to their staff and gave a contract extension to Dana Brown, the team's director of amateur scouting.

The Nationals added Chuck LaMar (special assistant to the general manager and national crosschecker), Moose Stubing (special assistant to the general manager), Bill Singer (special assignment scout), Kris Kline (special assignment scout), Bart Johnson (special assignment scout), Jimmy Gonzales (western supervisor), Jeff Zona (eastern supervisor), Tim Kelly (scouting supervisor in Southern California), Tyler Wilt (scouting supervisor in Texas and Louisiana) and Steve Arneiri (scouting supervisor in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota) to their scouting staff.

"It shows the commitment the Lerner family, Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden have to scouting and player development," said assistant general manager Mike Rizzo. "They have allowed us to go out and find some of the brightest minds in baseball. We are laying the foundation to become the scouting/player development organization in baseball, which is going to translate into championships down the road. We have gone from a fledging organization, scouting-wise, to over [100 years] of scouting experience with those 10 names we just announced."

LaMar is best known as being the general manager of the Devil Rays for 11 seasons. LaMar's stay with the Devil Rays was highlighted by the stockpiling of young talent that included Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, Delmon Young, B.J. Upton and Scott Kazmir.

Stubing spent the previous 40 years with the Angels as a player, coach, big-league manager and scout. His experience in talent evaluation helped build a foundation for the Angels' 2002 world championship club.

Singer joins the Nationals after a three-year stay with the D-backs as Major League scout, where he worked under assistant general manager Mike Rizzo. Singer has more than 30 years of professional experience as a player, area scout, national crosschecker, professional scout and international scout. In fact, Singer is going to coordinate operations in Asia, and is currently scouting players at the Dominican Winter League.

Kline joins the Nationals after spending the previous seven seasons with Arizona, the last three of which were spent as the D-backs' Western supervisor. Before joining the D-backs, Kline spent 10 seasons scouting for the Angels after completing his four-year professional playing career.

Johnson, a former big-league pitcher, brings 25 years of professional experience to Washington, the last 15 of which have been spent scouting at every level from the amateur ranks to the big leagues.

Gonzales, who is credited with signing Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, will draw on 16 years of professional scouting experience in his new role with the Nationals. Most recently, Gonzales was the Reds' Midwest regional crosschecker.

Zona has 17 years of professional experience as a player, scout, supervisor and advance scout. He worked with Boston and is credited with signing outfielder Trot Nixon and right-handed pitcher Cla Meredith during his tenure there.

Kelly will scour Southern California, where he will put to use more than 30 years of professional experience as a player, coach, front-office executive and scout. Tim Salmon and Troy Percival are among the many players scouted and signed by Kelly during his baseball career.

Wilt comes to the Nationals after scouting for Cincinnati each of the previous six seasons. There, he was a scouting supervisor in six Midwest states and worked directly for Gonzales.

Arneiri sports 20 years of professional experience, spent primarily with the Giants, most recently as their Canadian crosschecker.

As for Brown, he was instrumental in each of the franchise's last four drafts. Brown's efforts have rendered signature players such as Ryan Zimmerman and Chad Cordero, as well as the Nationals' highly-regarded 2006 draft class, which includes right-handers Colton Willems and Zechry Zinicola and outfielder Chris Marrero.

"Dana is an extremely hard worker and dedicated to his craft," Rizzo said. "He is through and through a Washington National. It's going to be exciting to see him develop and flourish."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.