Ciolek leaving Orioles for position with Nationals

Mike Elias confirmed this week that he’s returning as Orioles executive vice president/general manager, and Brandon Hyde remains the manager following a 101-win season.

However, the scouting department won’t go untouched.

An industry source confirmed today that director of draft operations Brad Ciolek is joining the Nationals as senior director of amateur scouting.

The hire is part of a massive shakeup by the Nats, who also are replacing director of player development De Jon Watson. Johnny DiPuglia resigned as international scouting director in September. Twelve scouts were told later that month that their contracts wouldn’t be renewed.

Ciolek will report directly to former Orioles scout Danny Haas, hired last week as vice president of amateur scouting. Kris Kline, who held the job since 2009, moves into a scouting position on the professional side.

The Orioles promoted Ciolek from assistant director of scouting to supervisor of domestic scouting operations in September 2019. He became director of draft operations in November 2021.

Ciolek was a player development intern with the Orioles in 2011, left for a year and came back in 2013 as a scouting administrator.

He leaves again, this time with the Orioles having the top-ranked farm system in baseball and the No. 1 prospect, shortstop Jackson Holliday, 19, selected as Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year.

MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects list also includes Orioles 2021 first-round pick Colton Cowser at No. 14, 2022 first-rounder Heston Kjerstad at No. 24, 2020 fourth-rounder Coby Mayo at No. 27 and 2019 fourth-rounder Joey Ortiz at No. 50.

Former top prospect Gunnar Henderson, drafted in the second round in 2019, is the favorite to be named American League Rookie of the Year. Catcher Adley Rutschman, chosen first-overall in ’19, was an All-Star this season. Jordan Westburg, the 30th-overall selection in 2020, made his major league debut this summer, along with Cowser, Kjerstad and Oritz.

Haas spent the past five seasons with the Diamondbacks as a special assignment scout before going to the Nationals. The Orioles hired him in 2011 as a national crosschecker, and he served in a variety of roles during his seven seasons.

The Athletic’s Keith Law first reported that Ciolek was joining the Nationals.

No one in the Nationals organization held the title of senior director of amateur scouting before Ciolek.

The Orioles aren't commenting on the report.

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