It's been a busy offseason for the Atlanta Braves as new President of Baseball Operations John Hart begins reshaping the club for what he hopes will be future success. While there have been plenty of changes to the roster one of the biggest moves the team has made came behind the scenes as long time scouting director Roy Clark rejoined the team's front office and helped oversee a transformation of the team's scouting department.
Former AJC writer Carroll Rogers highlighted the transition in a wonderful article for Baseball America.
When the Braves fired Wren and his assistant GM Bruce Manno in September and began restructuring their front office, all it took was one phone call from team president John Schuerholz to get Clark back.
Once one of the franchise's biggest strengths, Atlanta's farm system has fallen on lean times. There is a shortage of talent at the Triple and Double A levels and that has often put a strain on the Braves and forced them to look outside the organization for depth.
One of the first mantras for Hart was restocking Atlanta's minor league system. They obtained prospects in the Jason Heyward and Justin Upton trades but Clark's return along with the ascension of new scouting director Brian Bridges figures to also play a huge part.
Per Carroll, the Braves will put a renewed focus on the minor league system with more direction, eyeballs and a newfound cohesiveness in the front office.
As the Braves set out to restock their farm system, they'll try to restore their hold on the Southeast, re-emphasize the middle rounds of the draft and strengthen their efforts on the international front.
Communication issues within the front office and former GM Frank Wren ultimately led to Clark's departure from the team. Now he speaks highly of an environment where he and his scouts will be allowed to do their jobs.
There is plenty of ground to make up. Had Atlanta had a plentiful minor league system it could have changed how they ultimately handled the Heyward and Upton situations. Things won't be fixed overnight but the franchise is putting its hopes back in capable hands.