Nationals Break Silence, Confirm Recent Hires

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, October 15, 2009 | , | 0 comments »

The Washington Nationals issued a press release today finally making official all the news reports of recent front office hirings.  One has to believe now that this wave of personnel have filled out their W-2s, general manager Mike Rizzo can turn full attention to interviewing candidates for field manager.



The Washington Nationals today named Roy Clark Vice President of Player Personnel, Johnny DiPuglia Director of Latin American Operations and Doug Harris Director of Player Development. The Nationals also promoted Kris Kline to Director of Scouting. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

Clark joins the Nationals after an impressive 11-year run as Director of Scouting with the Atlanta Braves. Clark joined the Braves as an area scout in 1989, and he later enjoyed successive stints as Atlanta’s southeast supervisor (1995) and national supervisor (1996-99). His efforts helped the Braves earn Baseball America’s prestigious Organization of the Year award three times (1991, 1996, 2005) and USA Today’s Organization of the Year citation in 1996. Clark sports a World Series ring from the Braves’ 1995 World Championship campaign.

Clark is best known for having procured talents such as catcher Brian McCann, right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson, right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright, shortstop Yunel Escobar, right-handed pitcher Joey Devine, right-handed pitcher Kevin Millwood, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and outfielder Jeff Francoeur for the Braves. Meanwhile, Braves minor-league outfielder Jason Heyward was recently cited as Baseball America’s 2009 Minor League Player of the Year and is regarded by many as baseball’s top prospect among position players.

DiPuglia joins his fourth big league organization with his Nationals appointment. DiPuglia spent the previous 10 seasons working in the Red Sox scouting department, the last four as Boston’s Latin American Scouting Coordinator. While in that position, he was responsible for coverage in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Curacao, Nicaragua, Aruba, Columbia, as well as all of Central and South America. He earned World Series rings while with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.

DiPuglia, who also enjoyed stints with the Giants and Cardinals organizations, signed or had a hand in the signings of shortstop Hanley Ramirez, second baseman Placido Polanco, outfielder Rick Ankiel, right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez and right-handed pitcher Rene Arocha.

Harris carries 20 seasons of baseball experience as a player, amateur scout and professional scout into his new role with the Nationals. He spent last season as a Major League Scout/Advance Scout with Cleveland after a 12-year tenure with Texas in various scouting capacities. Harris played seven professional seasons in three organizations.

Kline earned the Director of Scouting promotion after spending his initial three seasons in Washington as Assistant Scouting Director/National Crosschecker (2009) and Western Crosschecker (2007-08). A scout for 20 seasons, Kline joined the Nationals in the fall of 2006 after spending the previous seven seasons with Arizona, the last three of which were spent as the Diamondbacks’ Western Supervisor. Kline earned a World Series ring in 2001 as the Diamondbacks topped the Yankees in seven games. Before joining the Diamondbacks, Kline worked 10 seasons scouting for the Angels after completing his four-year professional playing career.