The Astros named Mike Elias scouting director and won't renew the contract of assistant GM and scouting director Bobby Heck, moves the team announced in a press release on Saturday.
Elias, 29, joined Houston as a special assistant to GM Jeff Luhnow in January. He spent five years before that working under Luhnow in the Cardinals' baseball-operations department. Elias began as an area scout for St. Louis and worked his way up to manager of amateur scouting.
“Mike has a keen eye for talent and a unique ability to blend scouting opinions with other valuable information like the players’ makeup, performance history or medical risk,” Luhnow said in the release. “I’ve worked with Mike for many years now and believe his leadership and evaluation skills will help us maximize the output of our drafts for years to come.”
The Astros hired Heck as scouting director in October 2007, when their farm system had bottomed out after a series of poor drafts. Under Heck, Houston has begun to rebuild its system by drafting the likes of second baseman Delino DeShields Jr. and righthander Mike Foltynewicz in the first round in 2010, and outfielder George Springer in 2011. The Astros had what looks like a banner draft in 2012, landing shortstop Carlos Correa with the No. 1 overall pick plus righthanders Lance McCullers Jr. and Brady Rodgers, infielders Nolan Fontana and Rio Ruiz and outfielder Brett Phillips with later selections.
“Bobby has been a key part of the front office for the past five years and has been instrumental in helping build the pipeline for the future,” Luhnow said in the release.
Prior to joining Houston, Heck spent eight years as the Brewers' Eastern crosschecker and five as a Rangers area scout.
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