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Additional major changes continue within the Atlanta Braves’ development staff (remember the ouster of Rocket Wheeler, Randy Ingle and Luis Salazar last fall?), one again hitting close to home in Northwest Georgia.
Gone are Brian Bridges, Atlanta’s director of scouting, as well as Roy Clark, a senior advisory, according to numerous publications including Baseball America. The move comes less than five years after Bridges replaced Tony DeMacio, and as teams prepare for the drat.
From Baseball America:
“Baseball America has confirmed that the team will not hire a scouting director ahead of this year’s draft but the Braves are expected to bring in a senior level official to help run the department, along with general manager Alex Anthopoulos and assistant general manager Perry Minasian. The Braves then would hire a new scouting director following the 2019 draft.
“Bridges and Clark had signed one-year contract extensions with the team last October, and Bridges was set to lead the team’s draft operation for the fourth year after taking over as the team’s scouting director following the 2014 draft.
Bridges has been with the Braves since 2008 and is the signing scout responsible for a number of high-profile Atlanta signees, including Jason Heyward (2007), Craig Kimbrel (2008), Mike Minor (2009) and Alex Wood (2010). Bridges was promoted to the team’s Southeast crosschecker prior to being named scouting director before the 2015 draft.
“In 2014, Baseball America named Bridges one of the most successful scouts in the industry in terms of signing major league players, and he’s widely seen as one of the top talent evaluators in the game.
“As scouting director, Bridges has directed each of the team’s last three drafts and played an integral role in stockpiling a deep and talented farm system that helped the major league team win the National League East last season for the first time since 2013. He’s responsible for drafting six of the team’s current top 10 prospects, including the top four of third baseman Austin Rileyand righthanders Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka and Kyle Wright.
“Bridges’ 2018 draft didn’t go as smoothly as others, as the team never agreed to a deal with first-round pick Carter Stewart because of a medical issue that surfaced, which resulted in the righthander filing a grievance against the team. Stewart has since announced he will play for East Florida State JC this spring.”