In a surprising move, the Astros have announced that the contract of Scouting Director/Assistant GM, Bobby Heck, will not be renewed. He is being replaced by Mike Elias. Elias was hired by Luhnow away from St. Louis in January to be a special assistant to the General Manager. This move comes as a surprise in the fact that we are in the middle of the season and these moves are generally made/announced in the offseason.
As I said earlier, the move comes as a surprise due to timing, however, I’m not shocked at the move itself. Bobby Heck was an Ed Wade hire and was leftover from the previous regime. I figured within a few years, Luhnow would make changes there. This also tells me that Luhnow is going to do a complete reshaping of the Astros front office, including the managerial position, going into the offseason.
Per the Astros press release:
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.”
I’m sad to see Bobby Heck leave as I thought he did a pretty good job given the fact that he had to work for penny pincher Drayton McLane. I was critical of him pre-Crane/Luhnow as we were not drafting the best available player, but I quickly realized that was more so due to McLane than Heck. His draft last year and this year have been superb so he shouldn’t have a hard time catching on elsewhere. I wish him the best.