CLEARWATER, Fla. — Taking charge of a farm system that has produced one All-Star in seven years would cause most rookie minor-league directors to toss and turn. But that has nothing to do with Preston Mattingly’s recent string of restless nights.

“I don’t sleep. And I’ve never slept,” Mattingly said Wednesday, the opening day of a two-week Phillies minicamp that is being held here in lieu of the arrival of locked-out major leaguers. “I’ve always had really big trouble sleeping. This morning I woke up at 3:30 and was like, ‘Eh, just stay awake.’”

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Why not? There’s a staff to finalize, videos to watch, scouting reports to read, Zoom calls to lead, and names to learn, not only of the 59 players who were invited to the Carpenter Complex before the starting pistol for minor-league camp but more than a hundred others who will spend the season with Phillies farm teams.

There’s also a creed to formulate for a player-development operation that has lacked coherent direction.

Major-league pitchers and catchers were supposed to have their first spring-training workouts this week. Instead, they’re scattered about the country, working out independently until MLB and the Players Association can negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. But the minor leagues are unaffected, and Mattingly is taking advantage of the opportunity for an early start.

Mattingly, 34, joined the Phillies at the end of last season with his eyes wide open to all the problems he was inheriting. He wouldn’t have been hired away from the San Diego Padres to replace deposed farm director Josh Bonifay if things were going smoothly. But now, in his fifth month on the job, he also disagrees with most outside assessments that rank the farm system among the worst in baseball.

“I think our system’s better than what people think,” Mattingly said. “And I know everybody’s going to say that, but it’ll be proven over time. Time will tell. Our system’s a lot deeper than people give it credit for. I don’t even know where they rank us. Towards the bottom? Let’s get towards the top.”

In particular, Mattingly thinks critics underrate the Phillies’ pitching talent beyond top prospects Mick Abel and Andrew Painter. He also believes catcher Logan O’Hoppe and center fielder Johan Rojas are among baseball’s best prospects at their respective positions.

Maybe Mattingly is correct. Regardless, he oozes competitiveness. The second of New York Yankees icon Don Mattingly’s three sons, he got drafted 31st overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and kicked around the minors for six years, never getting out of A-ball. He went to college and averaged 3.8 points per game in three seasons as a guard for Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, before getting back into baseball in 2017 as the front-office equivalent of a super-utility player.

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Whether Padres general manager A.J. Preller assigned Mattingly to assist with amateur or pro scouting, or player development, or to take a hands-on role with players, their conversations about his future in the organization always centered on one theme.

“The biggest thing with Preston was he kept saying, ‘Where do you think I have a chance to help us win games?’” Preller recalled by phone. “In his time here, he got an education into a lot of different areas. He had the ability to impact us in a lot of different spots. But that’s what he kept talking about. It wasn’t just, ‘Where do I have a chance to learn and grow?’ It was always, ‘How can I help us win?’”

Like the Phillies, the Padres had an opening for a farm director in September. But Preller, who valued Mattingly’s input in various areas of the Padres’ operation and bonded with him over their addiction to 4:30 a.m. pickup basketball games with front-office colleagues (legend has it they went 109-9 in spring training one year), figured him more for a scouting or front-office role. When the Phillies offered a chance to run their farm system, Preller gave Mattingly his blessing.

“It was like, ‘If this is something you want to do, there’s only 30 of those jobs in the game,’” Preller said. “You supported him as a friend. I wanted to be supportive of where his head was at.”

For months, Mattingly’s head has been on streamlining the Phillies’ processes.

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Under former team president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak, the organization went big on analytics and technology, even making a deal with Driveline Baseball to assist in player development. But as Dave Dombrowski found upon taking over as president before last season, not all coaches and coordinators were on the same page. Philosophies differed, often clashing, with players receiving conflicting messages.

In trying to define a “Phillies Way,” the Phillies’ player-development system had lost its way.

Mattingly has made several personnel changes, hiring a minor-league field coordinator (Kevin Bradshaw), a director of pitching development (Brian Kaplan), an infield coordinator (former major-league shortstop Adam Everett), and a triple-A manager (Anthony Contreras), among others. And there was a common thread in the feedback Mattingly received from staff holdovers.

“They wanted to see direction,” Mattingly said. “Where are we going? I think we spent a lot of the offseason saying, ‘This is our direction. This is who we are.’”

And who is that?

“We don’t want to put stuff out there,” Mattingly said. “I kind of like to keep that in-house.”

Here’s a hint: Mattingly said he’s working to better integrate the farm system with other departments, including strength and conditioning, mental performance, and research and development. He also plans to draw on his experience as a high draft pick who flamed out with a .232 average and .611 on-base plus slugging percentage in 463 minor-league games.

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“I swung and missed a ton, and somebody would say, ‘You’re chasing pitches,’” Mattingly said. “Tell me why. Can you get to the root of the ‘why?’ We’re spending a lot of time this offseason with our players, making sure they’re educated on the ‘why,’ and let them ask the ‘why,’ and really try to answer those questions.”

It’s little wonder, then, that Mattingly rises early, stays up late, and recently turned down an invitation from coworkers to hoop it up before work. It takes time to fix a broken farm system, and there aren’t enough hours in the day.

“They tried to drag me out early,” Mattingly said. “I was like, ‘Man, I’m too busy right now, guys.’ I promise I’ll get out there.”