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Mike Elias named new scouting director

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by J.R., Aug 11, 2012.

  1. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    [rquoter]HOUSTON, TX -- The Astros have named Mike Elias as scouting director, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

    In his newly-appointed role, Elias, 29, will oversee amateur scouting and the draft. Elias joined the Astros in January as a special assistant to the general manager/scouting. Prior to joining Houston, Elias had been in the Cardinals organization since 2007 where he served as a scout before being promoted to manager of amateur scouting, which was a role that included crosschecking responsibilities.

    “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 commented. “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.”

    Luhnow also announced that the Astros would not be renewing the contract of Bobby Heck, who had served as assistant general manager/director of scouting since October of 2007. “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. “His legacy here includes several high-ceiling players like DeShields, Springer, Foltynewicz, and Velasquez – all top prospects in our system.”

    Over the past several seasons, Elias has scouted domestically and internationally at both the amateur and professional levels. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a left-handed pitcher on the varsity baseball team, earning four letters.[/rquoter]


    Bio:
    The Astros named Mike Elias as a special assistant to the general manager/scouting on January 11, 2012, after working five seasons under Jeff Luhnow in the St. Louis Cardinals baseball operations department (2007-11).

    Mike, 29, joined the Cardinals in 2007 as an area scout, and was later promoted to manager of amateur scouting with crosschecking responsibilities in September of 2010. He has scouted domestically and internationally at both the amateur and professional levels. Four players he is credited with signing were on Baseball America's Top 30 Prospects list for the Cardinals in January of 2012.

    Mike is a graduate of Yale University, where he was also a left-handed pitcher on the varsity baseball team, earning four letters. While at Yale, Mike served as an intern in the Philadelphia Phillies front office.

    Mike and his wife Alexandria reside in West Palm Beach, FL, but will be moving to the Houston area at the start of the 2012 season.
     
  2. msn

    msn Member

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    Don't know much about Elias, but I thought Heck did well especially considering the GM and owner situation he was in.
     
  3. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Same. I don't blame Luhnow either though, It's on him. If he busts, it won't be because of a second-in-command that he didn't pick.

    I suspect baseball minds know how good Heck really is; he's like Mills, they were put in extremely tough circumstances.
     
  4. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    I can see how the owner did not want to pay over the recommended bonus ... but ... that is usually only applies for the first three or so rounds.

    After the first few rounds, Heck had a level playing field versus the other the clubs. I am not sure that an argument can be made that Heck on these picks was better than average. The only mitigating factor, of which I can think, is that the Astros minor league player development was lacking and slowed the player's progress to The Show.
     
  5. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    I thought Heck was overall average in his drafts relative to the league. He got 1-2 major leaguers every year. No impact players but there are several from his drafts that have the chance to be impact players (DDJ, Springer, etc).

    Where I give him credit is having to deal with the ridiculous conditions that Drayton put on him. To put up even average drafts when you can't get top talent is impressive to me.

    Complaining that he wasn't good in rounds 4 and later is somewhat of a moot point. The best late round picks are usually over slot guys; one's that he knew he couldn't get. The rest is mostly a crap shoot. He wasn't particularly good at finding diamonds in the rough but he found some. He wasn't particularly bad at that.
     
  6. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Heck was not terrible, and if he doesn't retire, will eventually get another shot somewhere. Overall I think he was average for the Astros, but it is hard to know how much say he really had. Sister said Heck was well liked by his employees and bosses. Even the current group felt he was professional.
     
  7. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    Looking back on what was there in each draft, I don't have too many complaints.

    Mike Trout being taken 4 spots after Jio Mier hurts (Basically slot bonus as well).

    DDJ is looking good enough to not be too mad about passing on Chris Sale.

    Lots of guys I'd take over Folty & Kvansicka (Mike Olt most notable), but none of them are proven success stories, just better prospects, while Kvansicka appears to be a complete bust (nice pop this year, but at his age and repeating a level, it is worse than counting on Koby Clemens).

    It is such a crapshoot that it is hard to evaluate anyone on the draft. If you get 2-3 regulars out of the draft plus a few fringe guys that make the majors, the draft is actually successful.
     
  8. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    Lunhow is cleaning house - first players, now FO... Mills is next. No way he's back next year.
     
  9. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Wait, it doesn't stop there.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Hearing it's a bloodbath in Houston with a bunch of scouts being told they're not being renewed for next year</p>&mdash; keithlaw (@keithlaw) <a href="https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/235846982839721985" data-datetime="2012-08-15T21:14:37+00:00">August 15, 2012</a></blockquote>
    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  10. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    I always pictured scouts like minor league affiliates. Each organization has their own and it's hard decide "i want a new group" because the best ones are under other organizations.

    It'll be interesting to see the end result of the blood-letting
     
  11. msn

    msn Member

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    Hope that doesn't backfire on them.
     
  12. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    New ownership always meant the housecleaning was coming.
     
  13. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    And yet Fred Nelson has dodged all bullets...
     
  14. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    Hopefully, they have done their homework and evaluated each scout on his own merits. I am counting on this not being just a case where the old crowd is getting shown the door just because they are the old crowd.

    For now, ill give Luhnow the benefit of the doubt that he doesnt work on the buddy system.

    On the whole, it would seem the Wade / Drayton scout crew was about average. Not great, not terrible. So if Luhnow can weed out the below average ones and replace them with above average, then that would obviously benefit us.
     
  15. jdh008

    jdh008 Member

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    Good story in this morning's Chronicle about Elias. Because he is so young, I think the assumption was that he is a hardcore Moneyball guy, but that's no necessarily the case. He played ball at Yale and comes from a more traditional scouting background, but also uses Moneyball-type statistics when making decisions on players.
     
  16. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/1...-scouts-including-ricky-bennett#ixzz24s0NO8S2
     
  17. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    -Link-

     
  18. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    One thing is becoming clear. Luhnow is fearless when it comes to shaking things up and rolling the dice.
     
  19. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    I realize that the ramifications of what Luhnow is doing may not show themselves for 3-4 years, perhaps longer.

    I am just sitting here wondering 3-4 years from now, will I be looking back at whats happening now and calling Luhnow a genius, or will I be blaming him for a ship thats not only sunk, but has a 16 ton weight on top of it.
     

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