Baltimore Orioles: Plenty Of Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving
The Baltimore Orioles are going in a new and exciting direction.
Many Orioles fans likely aren’t very happy after yesterday’s news that Jonathan Villar has been placed on waivers and is now available for any team to claim, but the organization is still moving in the right direction. While I strongly disagree with the move, let’s look past it for a second to appreciate the positives that are taking place.
In many instances, what is taking place in Baltimore isn’t just a rebuild but a build from scratch operation. In his first year on the job, Mike Elias has heavily invested in the international market, is in the process of putting valuable time and money into facilities and resources throughout the Dominican Republic and many areas of the world where the Orioles had no presence before.
We have already seen the effects of the organization’s new analytically-driven player development plan. From the rise of John Means to a surge in production from prospects up and down the system, there was plenty of initial success. These developments take time, but players are responding positively already.
The additions of Sig Mejdal and his team and new Director of Player Development Matt Blood and Director of Pitching Chris Holt are just a few pieces now in place to guide this organization into a new direction. Along with several new coaching hires down in the minor leagues to directly work with and develop the growing pool of talent on the farm.
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Several recent hires were plucked from the college ranks or private training companies, even a few former Orioles minor leaguers themselves like Collin Woody and Branden Becker have joined the coaching ranks for minor league affiliates.
The non-traditional approach and hiring of inexperienced coaches is risky, but every single person hired by Mike Elias has one thing in common- they are all in on his plan and vision for the organization and their path to development is deeply rooted in an analytical approach that other organizations have already bought into and found success with, while the Orioles have continued to fall further and further behind.
I will close by saying I’m also thankful for you, our readers. We have seen tremendous growth over the last year and that’s all because of you. Even those of you who seem to disagree with everything we say, you keep coming back. Happy Thanksgiving and Let’s Go O’s!