As the Orioles move forward with hiring their next president of baseball operations, among the key jobs for that person when hired will be to improve the Orioles’ scouting and player development departments.
We all know that while the club was in last place in the standings this year again, it is also apparent that right now the Orioles are fifth in the division in producing talent from their minor leagues.
In my opinion, they could do a better job in both scouting and developing players.
Along those lines, perhaps the Orioles should consider hiring someone from outside the organization or promoting from within someone for a position that oversees both departments - scouting and player development.
While the president of baseball operations certainly oversees both departments as part of his duties, there are some clubs that do have a front office member that holds the title of assistant general manager for scouting and player development.
These two departments can butt heads at times. You have the scout that signs a player and has his views on what position the player should play and how his early years in the minors should be handled. Then player development forms its own opinions on how to get the most of that player and that can sometimes be at odds with the scout.
If scouting and player development personnel are ever truly divided over any issues with a player or group of players, this hire will be the tiebreaker to determine how to proceed.
Perhaps hiring one person to oversee both departments could better bring these two together. There would be a boss over both providing guidance, leadership and one voice, if you will, to guide both departments.
This person could take the vision of the manager and general manager/president and implement it for both the scouts and the minor league staff.
For instance, what kind of players should scouting be on the lookout for? How important is a player’s work ethic and makeup? How will players be developed and handled after they sign? How fast should they be moved through the system?
It should be pointed out that someone the Orioles are expected to interview in Jerry DiPoto of the Arizona Diamondbacks currently holds a title of senior vice president for scouting and player development.
The right person guiding both departments could be just what the Orioles need. The new president of baseball operations will be a key here, too, but also has so many other responsibilities that maybe he will need a right-hand man to oversee scouting and player development.
As yet another baseball pro moves in to lead the Orioles’ baseball operations, perhaps adding someone to this role will be important, too.