New Phillies GM Sam Fuld eager to learn from Dave Dombrowski

Sam Fuld of the Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
Sam Fuld of the Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports) /
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New Phillies GM Sam Fuld discusses his hire and mindset, as well as working under Dave Dombrowski.

For new Philadelphia Phillies general manager Sam Fuld, he never thought that he would be doing what he is now, following his eight-year Major League playing career that ended in 2015 with the Oakland A’s.

“I’ve learned a ton since retiring about 3 1/2 years ago,” Fuld told Kevin Frandsen on a recent Pine Tar for Breakfast podcast. “It does feel quick, but I think I’ve gotten a great opportunity since taking the job with the Phillies.”

The Phillies first hired the former outfielder in November 2017 as their major league player information coordinator. During the 2018-19 seasons, Fuld worked closely with the big-league coaching staff as an outfield instructor and helped integrate advanced metrics into game planning. Last January, he was promoted to Director of Integrative Baseball Performance, and drew interest this offseason as one of two finalists to become manager of the Boston Red Sox.

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Fuld said he feels fortunate to have opportunities that he had with the Phillies, being exposed to several different parts of the organization, to put him into the conversation to become their next general manager.

“I feel really appreciative of that, being in a bit of a hybrid role previously, where I’m part-coach, part-front office,” Fuld said. “When I’m involved on the front office side, it’s learning a little bit about amateur scouting and learning a little bit about pro scouting and player acquisition. And, in my more recent role, having been exposed to the medical side.”

Fuld said that even his playing career, having played professionally for 13 years, gave me some level of experience that helps him now as general manager. The Durham, New Hampshire, native was drafted in the 10th round of the 2004 draft by the Chicago Cubs. He went on to play parts of eight seasons as an outfielder (2007; 2009-15) for the Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, A’s, and Minnesota Twins; he last played professionally with Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

In 2009, Fuld led all National League rookies with a .409 on-base percentage and finished fourth with a .299 batting average. In 2011, Fuld was a left-field finalist for an American League Gold Glove Award, albeit only making 76 outfield starts.

“I feel like my playing experience allowed me to have a perspective to have empathy when dealing with baseball players, and recognize that they’re human beings,” Fuld continued. “I lived it and felt what it is like to be in a really good organization with great structure, from the president on down. And, I’ve been in organizations that maybe weren’t as great.

“I tried to pick up on the pros and cons of each organization that I played in.”