The departure of Dayton Moore back in late May created a huge hole in the Braves' front office, but the Braves have called on the patriarch of the organization to fill that void.
General Manager John Schuerholz named Paul Snyder as the Braves' new Director of Baseball Operations. Snyder will oversee scouting and player development.
Roy Clark will continue as the Braves' Scouting Director, a position he's held since 1999. Clark will still be in charge of the draft and rely on Snyder for his continued assistance in scouting amateur talent.
The new Director of Player Development will be Kurt Kemp, who for the last nine years has been a scout for the Braves based on the west coast. Kemp was an area scout for four years before becoming a national crosschecker in 2001. Kemp spent thirteen seasons as an assistant coach in college before joining the Braves in 1997.
Snyder has been with the Braves' organization since 1957 as a player, coach, scout, and administator. He was in Milwaukee's minor league system as an outfielder through 1963 before becoming a minor league manager. When the Braves moved to Atlanta Snyder became the Director of Stadium Operations.
But he knew his heart belonged back on the field, so in 1967 Snyder became a scout. He managed a few of the Braves' minor league teams along the way, but by 1977 Snyder became the Braves' Director of Scouting, a position he held through 1990.
Snyder was responsible, along with then-team President Stan Kasten and then-General Manager Bobby Cox, for implementing important strategies that turned the Braves around in the mid-1980s. He emphasized drafting pitchers and improving the Braves' scouting and player development departments.
In 1991, with the arrival of Schuerholz from Kansas City, Snyder became a Special Assistant to the GM. In 1996 he once again assumed the duties of Director of Scouting and Player Development, which he held through 1999. Snyder took a step back from full-time work in 2000 and has since scouted for Schuerholz. He's continue to help the Braves' scouting staff prepare for the amateur draft and scout the Braves' farm teams throughout the summer.
Snyder had major heart surgery in the spring of 2005, but he's now in excellent health and is prepared to return to a more active schedule. He will work closely with Kemp and Clark to continue the excellent work Moore and Company have done the last few years.
J.J. Picollo, who served as the Acting Director of Player Development after Moore's departure, will leave the Braves and join Moore in Kansas City as the Royals' new Farm Director. Rene Francisco, Atlanta's Director of International Scouting, will also join Moore as a Special Assistant to the General Manager. Clark will assume many of the international scouting duties for the Braves.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.