The Phillies have found their new director of amateur scouting.
According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki and CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury, Atlanta Braves director of international scouting Johnny Almaraz will replace the recently-departed Marti Wolever as the man to oversee the Phils' amateur scouting department.
The Phillies have hired Johnny Almaraz as Director of Amateur Scouting, Benny Looper, Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel announced.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) October 8, 2014
Almarez had been the Braves' director of international scouting since 2008, and from 2006-2008 was Atlanta's director of Latin America operations. Before that, he worked as a scout the Cincinnati Reds' organization for 16 years, where he discovered stars Adam Dunn and Johnny Cueto. Salisbury reports Almarez' exact title is not yet known, as the Phils have not officially confirmed the hiring.
Braves historically have been good internationally, seems like a good hire on the surface— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) October 8, 2014
During his time in Atlanta, Almarez has helped the Braves scout, select and develop such players as Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, as well as top prospects Jose Peraza, Christian Bethancourt, and Mauricio Cabrera.
In all, there were nine Atlanta Braves international signings since 2006, Almarez' first year as the team's head of Latin America operations and international scounting, that made the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. That was 10th-most in all of baseball.
The Phillies dismissed Wolever at the end of September, in part because of the controversial handling of the Ben Wetzler situation. But Wolever also had a decidedly less-than-spectacular record overseeing the Phils' scouting department (via MLB.com's Zolecki).
MLB.com in June examined the Phillies' Drafts from 2004-13. Forty-six picks reached the big leagues, which tied the A's and Rangers for seventh best in baseball.
But the quality of the Phillies' picks ranked last. According to baseball-reference.com, the combined WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of Phillies picks over the past 10 years was 20.7, which was 24.6 points lower than the 29th ranked Blue Jays (45.3). The big league average was 82.7.
This would be Almaraz' first opportunity to oversee an entire scouting department.