Part-time scout Roy Clark joins KC front office

January 19th, 2022

KANSAS CITY -- A move plenty of years in the making, the Royals have hired longtime scout Roy Clark as a senior advisor for baseball operations, the club announced Wednesday.

Clark, who had been scouting part-time for the Royals and will fill a variety of scouting roles in his new full-time role, is revered in the amateur scouting world, particularly for his work with the Braves. He left his mark on Atlanta’s success in the 1990s and he had a hand in scouting, drafting and signing many of today’s stars, including the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright, the Braves' Charlie Morton, the Cubs' Jason Heyward, free agent Freddie Freeman, the White Sox Craig Kimbrel and former Braves Jason Marquis and Brian McCann.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be with Kansas City,” Clark said. “I think it’s a first-class organization. It starts with ownership and then with [president of baseball operations] Dayton [Moore] and [general manager] J.J. [Picollo]. I’ve worked with so many of them before and have so much respect for those guys. I’ll tell you what: I like the future in Kansas City. I think they’ve had great Drafts. And it’s just a matter of time before some of them get up to the big leagues and start helping them get back to championship level.”

Clark’s move to the Royals has been a long time coming. He and Moore know each other from when Moore was a scout and then an executive for the Braves; in fact, Clark was the one to bring Moore into professional baseball. When Clark was promoted to be a crosschecker in 1994, he recommended Moore, then coaching at George Mason University, to fill the scouting vacancy.

“My scouting director at the time, Chuck LaMar said, ‘Roy, I need five names of guys that you would want me to consider as your replacement,’” Clark said. “A few days go by, and I said, ‘Chuck, I don’t have five names. I have one. Dayton Moore.’

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the game for a long time. And I’ve seen and signed a lot of good big leaguers. A lot of All-Stars. But the most important person I’ve signed was Dayton Moore. He’s that special. I think Kansas City has got a great one.”

When Moore was hired as the Royals' general manager in 2006, he asked Braves general manager John Schuerholz for permission to interview Clark and bring him to Kansas City.

Schuerholz did what Moore expected him to do.

“John Schuerholz, being the wise baseball man he was and is, denied me,” Moore said. “I believe his quote was, 'There’s no way I could let you have Roy Clark.’ I expected it, but I was hoping -- John knew how strong our relationship was. But we’re very excited to have Roy with us now.”

Clark started with the Braves in 1989 and established himself as one of Schuerholz’s most valuable amateur scouts. Clark climbed the ranks to serve as Atlanta’s scouting director for 11 years before the Nationals hired him away in 2009. Clark also had a stint with the Dodgers, but he returned to the Braves organization as a special assistant to the GM in 2014. His fingerprints are all over the Braves’ current wave of success, though the organization parted ways with him in 2019.

Along the way, Clark built a reputation by scouting standout players on and off the field. In 2020, Morton (then with the Rays), Freeman, Heyward and Wainwright were all their club’s nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award, with Wainwright winning what is considered one of the most prestigious awards in baseball.

The common denominator among all four? They were all signed out of high school by the Braves -- and drafted by Roy Clark. Wainwright was Clark's first pick as scouting director in 2000.

“Roy was the most feared and respected amateur scout of his era,” Moore said. “There wasn’t one area scout in the Carolinas that wasn’t concerned with where Roy Clark was and what he was doing. And if they weren’t concerned with where Roy Clark was and what he was doing, they were going to get beat.

“And he just has a great passion for players and signing the best players. Roy wasn’t all about tools. He’s about makeup and players that are winners. And that speaks to the Roberto Clemente Award players he’s connected to, as well.”

Clark will be based in Atlanta and will primarily scout on the amateur side for the Royals in his new role, but Moore plans to use his new advisor in a variety of ways. After taking some time off the past three years, Clark is ready to return to the job he knows best.

“I’m looking forward to getting back,” Clark said. “I did it for so many years. I have a couple million Delta miles, and I think I used to spend about 120 nights a year in hotels. So I needed a break from that, just to catch my breath again. But I couldn’t be more delighted to get back to scouting full time.”