11:50am: The Tigers have confirmed Conner’s hiring.
8:36am: The Tigers have made another addition to their front office this offseason, reportedly plucking Mark Conner from the Padres to serve as the team’s amateur scouting director under recently hired assistant general manager Rob Metzler, per Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press.
Conner joined the Padres as an amateur scout in 2010 and was promoted to northeast regional supervisor in 2014 before eventually serving as the club’s scouting director during the 2015-2021 seasons. With the Padres, Conner helped draft Robert Hassell, CJ Abrams, Ryan Weathers, and MacKenzie Gore. He transitioned to a special assistant role for GM A.J. Preller in September 2021 and was given the task of evaluating every player within San Diego’s farm system.
The Tigers had been looking for a new scouting director since early October, when the new president of baseball operations Scott Harris fired Scott Pleis. Pleis had held the title of amateur scouting director since 2010. Conner inherits a rather poorly ranked Tigers farm system, with only three prospects in MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospect Rankings after the recent graduations of Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson. However, the team will have a strong draft pick after finishing the 2022 season with a 66-96 record. MLB.com projects that the Tigers have the sixth-highest chance (7.5%) of landing the first overall pick in the 2023 draft.
Conner’s addition to the Tiger’s front office is another retooling of the staff built by former general manager Al Avila. Recent additions include Scott Harris as president of baseball operations and Rob Metzler as vice president and assistant general manager. Additionally, the team is looking to add a general manager.
In the dugout, manager A.J. Hinch has also been hard at work retooling his staff, with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and quality control coach Josh Paul both departing the organization.