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Ric Wilson removed as Angels scouting director

The Angels relieved Ric Wilson of his duties as scouting director but have offered him another position in the organization, General Manager Billy Eppler confirmed Thursday.

"We'd like to keep him in an evaluative role in amateur scouting, but we felt this was the best decision from an organizational standpoint," Eppler said. "Ric is a tremendously loyal employee and a phenomenal human being. He helps bond scouts together. He is a picture of optimism, the definition of a company man."

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The Angels went from having one of baseball's better farm systems under former scouting director Eddie Bane to one of baseball's worst under Wilson, who replaced Bane in 2011.

The only two players drafted under Wilson who have a positive Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, are first baseman C.J. Cron  and catcher Jett Bandy.

But Wilson was handcuffed by the club's signing of free agents Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, which cost the Angels first-round picks in 2012 and 2013, and by philosophical shifts that came with turnover in the front office.

Under Bane, who was hired by former General Manager Tony Reagins, the Angels focused on higher-risk, higher-reward high school players in the draft. When Jerry Dipoto took over as GM before 2012, drafts leaned heavily toward college players who were deemed closer to the big leagues but had less upside. The Angels pursued a more balanced mix of players last June in Eppler's first draft.

Two of the team's best pitching prospects selected by Wilson — left-hander Sean Newcomb and right-hander Chris Ellis — were traded to the Atlanta Braves last November for shortstop Andrelton Simmons. And hard-throwing right-hander R.J. Alvarez, another Wilson pick, was used in a 2014 trade for closer Huston Street.

Wilson, a former minor league catcher, assumed the role of Angels scouting director after serving as the team's national cross-checker from 2003-1010.

Eppler said he is compiling a list of candidates, with input from the commissioner's office and colleagues throughout the game, to replace Wilson and will begin interviews "in the near term."

Closing time

Cam Bedrosian experienced the full spectrum of emotions for a closer in his first crack at the job, striking out the side to record the first save of his career in Tuesday night's 5-4 win over the Oakland A's and giving up two hits, three walks and a run while suffering the blown save in Wednesday night's 8-6 win.

But that did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for the role, which the hard-throwing right-hander assumed from the injured Street.

"Oh yeah," Bedrosian, son of former Cy Young Award-winning reliever Steve Bedrosian, said when asked if he was looking forward to his next closing opportunity. "It's a blast. It's an adrenaline rush like no other."

Short hops

Pujols' two-run shot to left field in the ninth inning Wednesday was the 12th walk-off homer of his career, which leads all active players, and the 20th walk-off plate appearance of his career, the third-most all-time behind Dusty Baker (25) and Rickey Henderson (21). … Manager Mike Scioscia, a former Dodgers catcher, when asked if he was ever as flexible as first baseman Ji-Man Choi, who did the splits while stretching for the throw on a key double play Wednesday: "Are you kidding me? No chance. I think my hamstrings were tight when I was born." … Outfielder Daniel Nava, designated for assignment last Saturday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Salt Lake.

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna

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