Phillies Name Matt Klentak New General Manager

Matt Klentak, a 35-year-old who played baseball for Dartmouth, was previously the Angels' assistant GM.

Phillies GM Matt Klentak. Photo | Phillies/Miles Kennedy

Phillies GM Matt Klentak. Photo | Phillies/Miles Kennedy

The Phillies have hired Ruben Amaro‘s replacement.

The team announced today Matt Klentak is the team’s choice to succeed Amaro as general manager. He will be introduced at a press conference at Citizens Bank Park later this morning.

Klentak, who played shortstop at Dartmouth, was previously the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He is just 35. He worked previously for the team’s new president, Andy MacPhail, as director of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles.

“I am honored to be named general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies,” Klentak said in a release. “The franchise has a rich history, owners who are committed to winning every single day, and passionate and knowledgeable fans who support the team. They should know they have my tireless commitment to winning a championship.”

A 2011 Orange County Register profile says Klentak’s office was furnished with “yearly editions of The Bill James Handbook and other volumes of data-dense baseball guides [in] cherry finished bookshelves that match his large desk covered by his handwritten notes.” He told the paper he “wouldn’t consider myself a metrics guy but I think balance is important.”

The new Phillies GM is a native of Medfield, Massachusetts, and began his baseball career by cold-calling front offices while still the shortstop for Dartmouth. Theo Epstein helped him land a front-office internship with the Rockies, and he moved up the ranks from there. Before taking the Orioles job, he worked in baseball’s front office in labor relations.

In a 2011 interview with Orioles blog Camden Chat, he said an Orioles analysis showed investment on international scouting and facilities does not pay off. The Phillies have not traditionally been a major player internationally, though they’ve improved recently. The team signed hot prospect Jhailyn Ortiz this summer.

Klentak was selected out of a final three that also included Dan Kantrovitz and Chaim Bloom. All are Ivy League graduates in their 30s and well-regarded as numbers guys. The Phillies have been developing a new proprietary stats system, Phillies Holistic Information Location (or PHIL).

“Observing Andy [MacPhail] execute his strategy to hire a new general manager in a relatively short period of time was very impressive,” Phillies part-owner John Middleton said in a release. “He quickly identified a pool of excellent candidates and executed a rigorous process to winnow down the field decisively, thoughtfully and objectively. This is the type of leadership essential to returning the Phillies to greatness. I have no doubt that the collaborative effort of Andy and Matt will restore the Phillies to the glory years our fans deserve.”

Ruben Amaro, the Phillies previous GM, was fired on September 10th. This weekend, news broke that Amaro will be the first-base coach for the Boston Red Sox next season.

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