This gets at a lot of the problem. I think to succeed this is what an organization needs:
1. There needs to be a well-founded organizational philosophy in place for an extended period of time, with MINOR tweaks as required [frankly, as the commissioner can't decide what he wants and changes the strike zone, the baseball itself at least periodic tweaks in philosophy will be needed]. By philosophy in this sense, I mean: what does a Phillies MLB middle IF look like? A corner IF/OF? A catcher? A CF? A RH/LH starter? A RHRP?LHRP?
1a. What skill levels/physical characteristics does a HS/international signee need, such that there is a good shot of developing him into a semblance of this ideal? What about a college signee?
1b. What development and physical training approach can get such a player to the desired endpoint?
1c'. For #1a/1b there are two groups: the few guys we are willing to pay big signing bonuses; the mass of player who are longer shots, but whom we think there is a chance of developing
2. EVERYBODY in the chain (scouts, coaches and managers at all levels incl. MLB, upper management) has to be on the same page -- buy in and enthusiastically implement. Those who can't, must be replaced.
3. The development program must account for individual differences of prospects.
4. The baseball development process is long compared to other sports, making it even dumber to draft for need or give a big international bonus based on current MLB need. Take BPA, which it seems we often don't do with our #1 pick or highest international bonus.
I think the Phillies haven't been successful because they have changed philosophy too rapidly as they chased fads and relied on an incompetent analytical department as well as overall frustration. I think in upper management changes, they have shot themselves in the foot by not cleaning house of those staffers not willing to hew to the chosen philosophy.
Whenever you change philosophy, which the Phillies have done repeatedly, you have a mismatch between the system you have and the system you want to have. You can educate and demand buy-in to the new philosophy from all current employees and replace the refuseniks as quickly as possible, but.... in any event you have 4-6 years of minor league prospects in the system who were chosen under the old scouting philosophy (a prime example is our 1.1 draftee Moniak, who drew gushing raves from Gillick for his nice, level swing in which the bat stayed in the zone a relatively long time, subsequently confronting the new philosophy of loft to increase HRs. This presents the quandary of trying to plug a very expensive square peg into your now preferred round hole, or developing Moniak to be the best round peg he possibly can be. This goes a bit beyond simply adapting your development program to fit the particular talent strengths and weaknesses of a given player, since under the new philosophy this isn't a guy you would have taken 1.1 -- well maybe it's just an extreme example of that).
Now we seem to be chasing some combination of the Tampa Bay/Dodgers/Yankees/Padres magic. We need a good blended philosophy that takes the best from all of this. The upper level baseball-side staff seems to be finally all in place. Now we need a quick buy-in/weed-out among all those below these guys in the organization. I wonder where Sal and his guys fit in with this. Are they nostalgia retentions?