Phillies ‘Narrowing In’ on Barber for Scouting Director

A general view of Philadelphia Phillies baseball hats (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
A general view of Philadelphia Phillies baseball hats (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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The rumored candidate for the new Phillies scouting director worked with manager candidate Joe Girardi as members of the New York Yankees.

Not only are the Philadelphia Phillies reportedly close to a decision on their next manager, but also their new director of scouting.

The latter search is being led by Assistant General Manager Bryan Minniti to replace Johnny Almarez. The Phillies’ focus, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, “seems to be narrowing on Brian Barber, national crosschecker from [the] New York Yankees.”

Barber was among the eight candidates that the Phillies had reported interest in, per Salisbury’s report this past Monday.

Almarez voluntarily stepped down for personal reasons in early September; he had been the Phillies director of scouting since October 2014, but will still remain with the club next season as a special assistant in both scouting and player development.

Under Almarez, five amateur drafts took place, including top picks of outfielder Cornelius Randolph (2015), Mickey Moniak (2016), and Adam Haseley (2017), third baseman Alec Bohm (2018), as well as shortstop Bryson Stott (2019).

Hiring Barber could signify that the Phillies are targeting former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, as both have ties to the 27-time World Series champions.

Barber is a former Major League pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and Cleveland Indians. His career was limited to just four seasons, 26 appearances and 16 starts due to injury from 1995-96 and 1998-99. The Hamilton, Ohio, native combined for a 5-8 record, 6.77 ERA, and 59-to-45 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 93 innings.

Yet, unlike his disappointing, shortened playing career, Barber has recently been considered “one of the top amateur scouts in America.” As the Yankees’ east coast regional cross-checker, he was responsible for assessing hundreds of prospects each year.

One of them, the same time Girardi was the manager of the Yankees, was Aaron Judge.

The two could soon work together again with the Phillies.