Braves Juggle Front Office

I guess the title should read more like "Braves Jiggle Front Office," since it's not really a major shakeup or anything, just some rearranging of roles to replace Kurt Kemp, the former Braves Director of Player Development, who left the organization a few weeks ago.

Frank Wren's top assistant, Bruce Manno, will expand his role as Assistant General Manager to also oversee the player development department. Manno has been the team's assistant GM for four years under Wren.

The Braves Assistant Director of Player Development, Ronnie Richardson, has been promoted to Director of Minor League Operations, and the Braves Director of Baseball Administration, John Coppolella, has been promoted to Director of Professional Scouting. I'm trying to get some clarification on Coppolella's new role, as Tony DeMacio is currently listed as the Braves Director of Scouting -- not sure if the team is splitting the functions of amateur scouting and professional scouting.

I also find it hard to believe that Manno will wear two hats in the organization for very long. Either he's the assistant GM, or he's the Director of Player Development, but not both. He may be holding that title until a replacement can be found. Unless that position will be more of an oversight position for the folks below him who do the actual job of running the day to day operations of the minor league system. This would make sense, since the Braves seemed to have flattened out and expanded their minor league operations staff in the past year.

Anyway, minor jiggle, but we care because it's the Braves development system that produces the bulk of the team's players, and lately that system has been doing a pretty good job (okay, a GREAT job!).

UPDATE 6:20pm:

I came across this quote regarding John Coppolella in a piece by MLB's Jonathan Mayo about GM Prospects around the game

Coppolella is the Braves' director of baseball administration and has his hands in a number of areas for Atlanta in scouting and player development. He knows the Braves system inside and out, but also has a keen sense of what there is in every organization. As current Braves GM Frank Wren said, Coppolella's understanding of the industry is impressive.

"The two key characteristics are that he's very intelligent and he has a very good feel for the industry talent," Wren said. "Evaluation, that's a skill he's acquiring. He really studies and stays on top of all of our reports from our scouts and has a good feel and understanding of the talent within each organization. That's where we utilize him the most.

"He's a really sharp, bright guy who's really valuable to us."

I've heard Coppolella's name mentioned before as an up-and-coming GM candidate. This is his fifth season with the Braves, and he was formerly the Assistant Director of Pro Scouting with the Yankees, so moving into his current position as Director of Pro Scouting with the Braves should be familiar territory for him. Good to know the Braves not only have talent on the field, but also in the front office.

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