Return of Battista a big plus

The Braves continue to bring back scouts who have previously made a contribution to the organization.

When Roy Clark left the Braves organization in 2009, the new scouting director, Tony DeMacio, brought in some of his own people. That is fairly normal in a transition period for a scouting department. But one of the more bizarre decisions made by DeMacio was the firing of Tom Battista, an area scout in California.

Battista had scouted and signed three very big players: Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen and Freddie Freeman. And yet, Battista was still let go by DeMacio.

Well, that error was rectified when Clark brought Battista back to the Braves organization last week. He will be a regional crosschecker for the Braves.

Battista is known as a tireless worker who was trained by Clark. His work in the west was well-regarded by scouts in other organizations.

While Hanson's career has fizzled out, he was the first Atlanta Braves farmhand to win at least 10 games in the first four years of his major league career.

Medlen's career has been derailed by two Tommy John surgeries, but he's 34-20 in his five years on the Atlanta roster.

And Freeman obviously is the future of the franchise after the Braves gave him a long-term contract last winter. Freeman has 656 hits and a career batting average of .286 in his four years as the starting first baseman.

The Braves will make additional announcements soon of more scouting assignments.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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