The Phillies have hired Johnny Almaraz as the organization's Director of Amateur Scouting, Benny Looper, Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel announced today.
Almaraz, 49, had spent the last eight seasons (2007-14) with the Atlanta Braves, where he was the director of Latin American operations (2007-09) and more recently the director of international scouting and operations (2010-14). In his role he oversaw scouting operations for the club outside the United States and Canada, supervised all operations at the Braves' Dominican Baseball Academy and managed a staff of nearly 20 international scouts. During his time with the Braves, Almaraz signed, among others, right-hander Julio Teheran and catcher Christian Bethancourt.
Prior to working for the Braves, Almaraz spent 16 years with the Cincinnati Reds in various roles including director of player personnel and director of player development. As a scout, he was credited with signing a number of future major league players including right-hander Johnny Cueto, outfielder Adam Dunn, catcher Paul Bako and left-hander B.J. Ryan.
"We couldn't be happier to add someone of Johnny's caliber to our baseball operations staff," said Looper. "He has established a reputation for being able to identify future major league talent and brings a great deal of experience to the Phillies."
Almaraz pitched for two years in the Reds' minor league system after being selected in the 14th round of the 1988 draft out of Southwest Texas State University.