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Preston Mattingly is not new school. He's not old school. He's about the "Phillies school."
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MLB

Preston Mattingly is not new school. He's not old school. He's about the "Phillies school."

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Padres Marlins Baseball

The Philadelphia Phillies hired Preston Mattingly to be their director of player development in September. He worked the last five years with the San Diego Padres, most notably as coordinator of major league advance scouting and game planning.

Preston Mattingly just may be the Philadelphia Phillies’ best hope for the future.

The Phillies hired Mattingly as their director of player development in September. Mattingly, 34, is the son of current Miami Marlins manager and former New York Yankees great Don Mattingly.

One of the biggest reasons the Phillies haven’t made the postseason since 2011 is a failure to develop young talent. Nearly all of Philadelphia’s recent top draft choices — Mickey Moniak, Adam Haseley, Scott Kingery, Alec Bohm and Cornelius Randolph — have failed to reached the potential the club projected for them.

It’s Preston Mattingly’s job to fix that.

I think I’m ready,” he said. “There will always be a learning curve. You have to learn on the fly. One thing about me is I’ll always work and look to get better, and I think I’ll learn quickly.”

Mattingly spent the last five years with the San Diego Padres where he worked in several capacities, most notably coordinator of major league advance scouting and game planning.

Mattingly spoke with reporters last week and described himself as someone who believes in people and is not a micromanager. Mattingly announced that Anthony Contreras will manage the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Contreras managed in the Padres organization last season.

“There has to be a consistent message throughout,” Mattingly said. “Old school, new school, we’re all in this together trying to help young men reach their goals and the Phillies win a championship.”

The old school, new school comment was interesting. The conventional wisdom is that the Phillies the past few years have gone from a team that ignored analytics to a team that over-emphasized them. Mattingly said he believes in a blend of information.

“In terms of butting heads in the organization, old school, new school, I only believe in one school and that’s the Phillies,” he said. “That’s the way we’re going to do it going forward. We’re going to do what the Phillies are about, and it’s not going to be what the old school people are about or what the new school people are about. It’s the Phillies way going forward.”

Mattingly grew up in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Mattingly in the first round of the 2006 draft. He spent six years in the Dodgers organization before transitioning to his off-the-field career. He’s seen how Joe Torre, Larry Bowa and Joe Girardi interacted with players first-hand.

“I’ve gotten to see and observe all different walks of baseball life,” Mattingly said. “It helped shape who I am today.”

Mattingly spent the first few weeks of his Phillies tenure watching instructional league in Clearwater, Florida. He then headed west to the observe the Arizona Fall League.

He’s been impressed by the play of Phillies prospects shortstop Bryson Stott and Logan O’Hoppe. Mattingly also was upbeat about former high school pitchers Mick Abel and Andrew Painter, who were the team’s first-round draft choices in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

“I believe a lot of the arms we have in the system,” Mattingly said. “I think it’s a system that’s deep with talented arms. I do think some of these guys could come fast, and it could change pretty quickly.”

As for competing in the same division as his dad, Mattingly smiled when he gave that answer.

“I’m a big trash talker,” Mattingly said. “I’m not going to tell you exactly what I told him.”

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