The Blue Jays have parted ways with their Director of Amateur Scouting Brian Parker and their National Crosschecker Blake Davis, according to a report from John Manuel of Baseball America. Both of their roles were on the amateur side of scouting, dealing with high school and college level kids, meaning their jobs were strictly related to the draft and amateur signings (international signings are handled separately).
Parker joined the Blue Jays in 2009 as a professional scout, was moved to a professional crosschecker role in 2012 for seven months, and was then made the Director of Amateur Scouting in July 2012. Before coming to the Blue Jays, he worked with the Expos/Nationals, Buffalo Bills, Major League Baseball, and the Colorado Rockies. In his drafts, the Blue Jays have leaned heavily towards pitching, specifically those who throw with their right hands. They have favoured projection over readiness, and as such the lower minors are currently stocked with some of the better prospects in the system.
Davis previously worked for both the Oakland and Kansas City franchises as a scout, and also was an agent for a few years between his jobs for the Athletics and Royals. His reputation around the league is quite good, with one NL scout telling me that Davis is “an absolute stud” when it comes to scouting.
Although these moves will have a profound impact on the future direction of the club when it comes to the draft in June, they are not completely unexpected. President Mark Shapiro wants his own guys who gel with his style and philosophy, and apparently Parker and Davis just didn’t fit the criteria. As the club is finished with the 2016 draft and signing negotiations, now is a perfectly reasonable time to replace these two employees, as the team starts to prepare for next year and beyond in scouting and drafting amateurs. I expect moves to fill these two vacancies will be made relatively soon, possibly by the end of the month.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Parker’s and Davis’ position be taken over by someone currently employed by the Cleveland baseball team. Cleveland’s current Director of Amateur Scouting is Brad Grant, an employee who has been with the club since 1994. That situation is very similar to both Shapiro and Ross Atkins, who also were both long time Cleveland employees before moving to Toronto. Cleveland’s national crosschecker is currently Scott Meany, though he only entered into that role once Shapiro and Atkins left the organization last November. He was previously a scout for Cleveland.
More front office shake ups could happen over the course of the next few months and Shapiro is likely to want to bring in more of his own guys.
Lead Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports