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10/24/2006 8:18 PM ET
Dodgers name Watson director of player development
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have named De Jon Watson as Director of Player Development, according to General Manager Ned Colletti.

"As a California native, former player, and professional scout De Jon's breadth of experience will add to the organization's strength in developing talented players," said Colletti. "He is strong on the fundamentals of the game and his ability to evaluate talent has led to a record of solid big league drafts and he will be a valuable addition to our team."

Watson joins the Dodgers from the Cleveland Indians, where he was the Director of Professional Scouting for the past three seasons, working directly with General Manager Mark Shapiro on building the Major League roster through trades and free agent acquisitions.

Prior to joining the Indians, the Baldwin Hills, CA native served as the Reds' Scouting Director from 1998-00, where more than 25 of his draft choices reached a Major League 40-man roster, including future big leaguers Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns. He moved to the professional scouting side with the Reds in 2001 and 2002.

"I am really excited about coming home," said Watson. "Growing up in Los Angeles and knowing the history of one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, I'm truly looking forward to the chance to contribute and help the progression of the Dodger organization."

Watson, 40, first began working in baseball in 1991 with the Florida Marlins following a five-year playing career in the Royals' organization. He started as an area scout in Los Angeles and was a member of Florida's front office when the club won its first World Championship in 1997.

A graduate of Santa Monica High School, Watson was as an outfielder/first baseman at West Los Angeles Community College, where he played for current Dodger scout Artie Harris and was a third-round draft choice of the Royals.

He and his wife, Joal, reside in Ahwatukee, Arizona with their daughter, Mia and son, Michael.

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