Padres reassign scouting director Conner

Westman promoted to head of player development

September 23rd, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres continued to shake up their scouting and player development departments on Wednesday, announcing a series of moves that saw Mark Conner removed from his role as scouting director.

Conner, who joined the organization in 2010 as an amateur scout and spent seven seasons heading the team's amateur scouting department, will transition to a new role as special assistant to general manager A.J. Preller.

In his place, Chris Kemp takes over as the Padres’ head of amateur scouting, after he'd spent the previous seven seasons manning the international department. (Kemp remains in charge of international scouting as well.)

Separately, the Padres also announced a promotion of Ryley Westman to the head of player development. That move comes two days after news that the club would not renew the contract of farm director Sam Geaney, who had spent seven seasons in charge of the team's player development.

Westman has been with the organization since Preller's arrival in 2014. He initially served as the team's Minor League catching coordinator and was promoted to director of player development ahead of the 2020 season, working under Geaney.

Kemp, meanwhile, has been involved in all areas of Padres scouting and development as the team’s field coordinator, in addition to his role as the team’s international scouting director.

As for Conner, his tenure certainly featured its share of hits in the Draft. The Padres currently boast four of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects -- No. 6 prospect CJ Abrams, No. 38 Luis Campusano, No. 44 Robert Hassell and No. 57 MacKenzie Gore. All were Conner selections.

Conner also drafted left-hander Ryan Weathers in the first round in 2018. Weathers has since joined the big league club. Conner's two first-round selections in 2016 -- Cal Quantrill and Eric Lauer -- were both dealt and have given significant contributions to Cleveland and Milwaukee, respectively, this year.

Despite several recent scouting and player-development success stories, Preller’s front-office maneuvering should hardly come as a surprise, with the Padres fading from the National League Wild Card picture, having drastically underperformed expectations this year.