The Phillies new director of amateur scouting, Brian Barber spent 18 years with the New York Yankees, most recently as their national cross-checker, a position which he held for 10 years. The 46-year old will replace Johnny Almaraz, who stepped down as the guy overseeing the Phillies draft last month. Almaraz had spent five seasons in the position. Almaraz will stay with the Phillies in an undisclosed position.
Barber will give a jump start to the introduction of analytics into the Phillies amateur scouting department. The team has introduced analytics, but has been behind the curve somewhat in integrating data into scouting and Barber’s experience with the Yankees will aid in improving the level of data used to scout amateur players by the Phillies.
The Phillies have not had a lot of success in finding top notch talent out of the June Draft and Barber will be charged with helping to guide the Phillies picks. He was instrumental in the Yankees selection of outfielder Aaron Judge even though many thought that at 6′ 7″ and 280 pounds, he was simply too big to hit on a consistent basis.
At one point, Mike Koplove, who joined the Phillies as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season, was the front-runner for the job. The Phillies instead grabbed Barber from the Yankees, most likely to take advantage of his analytics ability. Koplove is a Philadelphia native, who previously served as a scout for the Angels.
The Cardinals drafted Barber in the first round of the 1991 Draft and he pitched four seasons in the majors, two with St. Louis and two with Kansas City. In 26 MLB games – 16 as a starter – Barber was 5-8 with a 6.77 ERA.