Graham comments on promotion to director of player development

The Orioles confirmed today that Brian Graham has been named director of player development. He previously served as coordinator of minor league instruction.

The club also confirmed the hiring of former Red Sox farm director Kent Qualls as director of minor league operations.

John Stockstill will remain as director of player personnel, but the Orioles confirmed that he also will now oversee international and domestic professional scouting.

Graham spent six years as the Pirates’ director of player development. The organization was recognized by Topps Baseball as having the best developmental system in baseball back in 2002.

The Pirates had 54 players reach the majors who came up through their system during Graham’s time on the job, including current Orioles Nate McLouth and Steve Pearce, former Orioles Jose Bautista and Michael Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Rajai Davis, Nyjer Morgan, Sean Burnett, Zach Duke and Tom Gorzelanny.

“I’ve been fortunate to be a major league coach, a minor league manager at every level, to have been a coordinator and a farm director. I’ve been an interim GM for a major league team. But director of player development is the job I love,” Graham said.

“I think it fits my skill set, it fits my personality. It’s an all-encompassing job. It’s 24/7. You have responsibilities for every area of the developmental system and it’s a job I love.

“Player development and scouting will work very closely together. They’ll have very strong ties. It has to be that way for us to be successful. In player development, we feel strongly that we will be an extension of Buck Showalter and Buck’s staff. That’s something else that’s a necessity to be successful as an organization.

“I feel really good about the direction we’re going in.”

Here’s the press release issued by the Orioles this afternoon:

Kent Qualls has been named Director of Minor League Operations, where he will oversee the business operations of the Player Development Department. Qualls served as Boston’s Director of Player Development for four years (1998-2001) and their Director of Baseball Operations for one year (2002) during his eight-years with the Red Sox. He spent eight years (1987-1994) as the Director of Minor League Operations for the Montreal Expos (1987-1994) and spent the past 10 years as Director ofthe Dan Duquette Sports Academy in Hinsdale, Massachusetts.

Brian Graham has been promoted from Coordinator of Minor League Instruction to Director of Player Development. Graham is entering his 32nd year in professional baseball and sixth in the Orioles organization. Prior to joining the Orioles, Graham spent six seasons as the Senior Director of Player Development for the Pittsburgh Pirates and served as interim General Manager for the Pirates in 2007. Graham has major league coaching experience with the Orioles (2000) and Cleveland Indians (1998-1999). As a minor league manager in the Indians’ system, Graham managed eight consecutive playoff teams, compiling a 704-491 (.589) record, and his clubs finished above .500 nine consecutive years.

As Director of Player Personnel, John Stockstill will now also oversee International and Domestic Professional Scouting. Since joining the Orioles in December of 2005, Stockstill has served as the Director of Player Personnel, Director of Player Development and Director of International Scouting. Prior to joining the Orioles, Stockstill spent 19 years in various scouting roles with the Chicago Cubs (1987-2005), including a stint as their Director of Scouting from 2000-2005.

Note: Qualls will speak at the Shorebirds Hot Stove Banquet on Saturday. Executive vice president Dan Duquette had to cancel because he’s attending the memorial service for Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver in Davie, Fla.

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