I 100% agree that the most cost efficient, most team-building efficient, and most likely way to tie fans and players loyally to your franchise is to grow your own players. The problem is that the Phillies have done a poor job of this, especially with OFs. Either the scouting side or the development side, or both have fallen down. The 2008 team had a great home-grown core, including Rule 5 grabs, that this team lacks. Harper is a patch. A very expensive patch which works only because we were starting with a low salary budget and a very low level of salary commitments going forward. We got a real bargain on Nola, which also helps. It is unusual for a team as far into the rebuilding cycle as the Phillies were at the end of last season to essentially gut their staff of hitting instructors and replace the farm coordinator. That is a sign that they recognized a BIG problem. It is also unusual for a team to drastically change its defensive philosophy as the MLB Phillies did last season and have their D collapse as it did. It is unusual to spend as many primo first round picks as they have on OFs and not have anyone clearly emerge as a likely above average MLB starter. That is a sign of another serious problem. The Phillies have been saved by doing very well with pitchers, especially from LA, and doing ok with IFs and Cs. I don't know how much the old 'Phillies Way' has changed over the years or how it relates to scouting and developing OFs, but we've done a very subpar job in that area, especially with CFs, for a very long time. If we are to build from within, that's something which needs to be fixed. A lot of offense is expected from the OF. We have had a lot of injuries among OFs and OF prospects over the years. Possibly snakebitten, possibly our trainers need to tweak what they are doing. Hopefully the personnel changes in the minor leagues will help us develop hitters. Further, hopefully we will make scouting system changes sooner rather than later if there is an independent problem in that area. I don't know how many people on the scouting and senior baseball management ranks, who are still with the team, had input into the LGJ decision, but that was a total scouting farce, both on talent assessment and character assessment. I've read that Gillick was a big driver of the decision to pick Moniak 1.1. He may still make it, but certainly hasn't yet shown what a 1.1 should show. Randolph has been very underwhelming, despite a good finish last season. Two of our highest bonus LA position players were identified as OFs when drafted: Encarnacion is gone and Ortiz has yet to stand out, although way to early to give up on him.
We will operate snugged up against the salary cap in short order. There is no cap on what we can spend on baseball people. We need a better crew than we've had the past half dozen years.