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08/11/2012 8:32 PM EST

Astros name Mike Elias as new scouting director

Club will not renew contract of Bobby Heck

HOUSTON, TX -- The Astros have named Mike Elias as scouting director, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

In his newly-appointed role, Elias, 29, will oversee amateur scouting and the draft. Elias joined the Astros in January as a special assistant to the general manager/scouting. Prior to joining Houston, Elias had been in the Cardinals organization since 2007 where he served as a scout before being promoted to manager of amateur scouting, which was a role that included crosschecking responsibilities.

“Mike has a keen eye for talent and a unique ability to blend scouting opinions with other valuable information like the players’ makeup, performance history or medical risk,” Luhnow commented. “I’ve worked with Mike for many years now and believe his leadership and evaluation skills will help us maximize the output of our drafts for years to come.”

Luhnow also announced that the Astros would not be renewing the contract of Bobby Heck, who had served as assistant general manager/director of scouting since October of 2007. “Bobby has been a key part of the front office for the past five years and has been instrumental in helping build the pipeline for the future,” Luhnow said.  “His legacy here includes several high-ceiling players like DeShields, Springer, Foltynewicz, and Velasquez – all top prospects in our system.”

Over the past several seasons, Elias has scouted domestically and internationally at both the amateur and professional levels. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a left-handed pitcher on the varsity baseball team, earning four letters.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.