Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/12

Deciding not to renew the contract of assistant general manager/scouting director Bobby Heck, the Houston Astros promoted 29-year-old Mike Elias to scouting director.

The move is all part of the quest to improve the talent level of the lowly Astros, who lost 5-3 Sunday against the Brewers. It was Houston's 25th loss in 30 games since the All-Star break.

"In my best judgment, he's the person that's best suited to lead us going forward given what we have in front of us," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said of Elias, who came over with him from the Cardinals' organization in December. "We're in a situation where the draft is so critically important to our organization.

"We're likely to have a high pick again next year, and we want to take advantage of it. Mike and Bobby both were instrumental in this year's draft. Bobby's done a terrific job for us the last five years, but my judgment is that Mike's the guy to lead us forward."

The move isn't a complete surprise, considering many in baseball expected the last draft would be Heck's final one with the Astros.

"I'm not immune to the fact (that) in MLB that ownership or leadership change can result in change to others," Heck told the Houston Chronicle.

Elias, a Yale graduate who has been a special assistant to Luhnow since January, will now handle the draft and amateur scouting for the Astros.

"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 said in a release. "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."

Heck had been the Astros' amateur scouting director since 2007, when he was hired by former general manager Ed Wade.

Heck is proud of the legacy he will leave.

"I truly believe the impact of the past five drafts will be felt in Houston for years to come," he said.

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