Atlanta Braves Shake Up Scouting Department, Fire Brian Bridges And Roy Clark
The Braves shook up their amateur scouting department in a big way Wednesday, dismissing Brian Bridges, the team’s Director of Scouting, as well as Roy Clark, a Senior Advisor to the amateur scouting department.
The news comes at an unusual time for a dismissal. Many teams—including the Braves—are set to have meetings in the coming weeks in preparation for the upcoming 2019 draft.
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 Riley and 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 Eastern Florida State JC this spring.