New Angels GM Perry Minasian gets endorsement from former boss Alex Anthopoulos – Press Enterprise

Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos was thrilled that Perry Minasian, his longtime colleague and friend, got a job running a major league team.

Selfishly, Anthopoulos is also happy it’s not with a team the Braves have to worry about.

“I’m glad it’s in the AL West and not the NL East,” Anthopoulos said by phone Friday.

The Angels hired Minasian to be their general manager Thursday, the culmination of a six-week process that followed a streak of five consecutive losing seasons that cost Billy Eppler his job.

Anthopoulos figures the Angels’ fortunes are about to turn.

“The Angels and their fans will be pleased,” he said. “I expect him to have a lot of success.”

Anthopoulos bases that assessment on nine years working with Minasian, with the Toronto Blue Jays and Braves. In their years together – six in Toronto and three in Atlanta – their teams made the playoffs five times and had winning records two other times. They reached the League Championship Series three times, twice with Toronto and this year with Atlanta.

Minasian was the director of pro scouting under Anthopoulos with the Blue Jays and assistant general manager in Atlanta.

“He’s been there for everything,” Anthopoulos said. “He’s been a key, integral piece of everything that we’ve done, good or bad. Other than having the actual title, he’s experienced it all.”

Anthopoulos said Minasian’s duties in Toronto went well beyond the normal description for a pro scouting director, who is typically in charge of evaluating the players on the other 29 teams. He said Minasian had input on all personnel decisions and the amateur draft.

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Minasian had only been with the Blue Jays for a year when they were prepping for the 2010 draft, and he made a memorable contribution.

Anthopoulos said most of the Blue Jays’ decision-makers had Noah Syndergaard on their draft lists, but Minasian was the only one who had him ranked No. 1.

“That was not easy to do, because I don’t think (Syndergaard) was even a top 100 prospect at the time,” Anthopoulos said. “He’s a very good evaluator at all levels, international, amateur or pro.”

The Blue Jays picked Syndergaard 38th overall, and eventually traded him to the New York Mets for reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey.

Although Minasian’s contributions to the big league team in Toronto were mostly participating in internal discussions, Anthopoulos said in Atlanta he was given more external responsibilities. He dealt directly with other clubs in trade talks and with agents.

“There is no part of (the general manager) role that he hasn’t done,” Anthopoulos said.

Minasian’s background also has been a benefit, Anthopoulos said. Minasian’s father managed the visiting and home clubhouses with the Texas Rangers, so Perry literally grew up in a big-league clubhouse. He was cleaning bathrooms for big-leaguers when he was 8 years old, and moved steadily up to clubhouse ladder until he was a coaching assistant under manager Buck Showalter.

“It’s a perspective you don’t find, especially in a front office,” Anthopoulos said. “It’s a difference-making perspective that is a competitive advantage. Most people don’t have the perspective on players and coaches that he has. He has a tremendous feel for people.”

The Angels certainly need someone to turn around an organization that has endured years of disappointment ever since being a perennial playoff team from 2002-10.

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