Thoughts on Showalter, the GM search and Avery's AFL struggles

I have noticed several fans that indicate they have a problem with Buck Showalter having input into the hiring of the Orioles' next president/general manager.

It's funny that last year at this time, Showalter walked on water in the minds of some fans and now some of the same fans may be wary of his input on this next hire.

Showalter is likely to emerge from all this with major input on most Orioles decisions moving forward. Heck, that may have been the case already.

I don't see an issue with that. The man has a track record of building winners in three previous stops. After all these years in the game as a player, coach, manager and broadcaster, he's pretty savvy when it comes to building a team into a winner. His knowledge is vast. His contacts are many.

If the Orioles were to look for someone currently not with the organization to advise them on this hire, they'd probably be looking for someone like Showalter.

If the person hired turns out to someone that Showalter knows and has confidence and trust in, all the better. As a fan, don't you want the relationship between the manager and GM to be rock solid?

Two great minds are better than one. So bring in someone that is sharp with a real vision to make this team better and let's allow these two men to get to work.

Xavier Avery is hitless so far in the Arizona Fall League, going 0-for-13 in four games, and I will resist the temptation to express concern about the young outfield prospect.

That is a very small sample, of course, and Avery has had eight of those at-bats against left-handed pitching with four strikeouts. Avery hit .229 this year at Double-A Bowie against southpaws and .217 last year at Single-A Frederick.

He is still just 21 and the 2011 season was his first full year at Double-A. With Bowie, in 138 games, he hit .259 with four homers, 26 RBIs and 156 strikeouts.

In June and July, Avery hit .291 this year, but that fell to .203 from Aug. 1 to the end of the season. He struggled late in the season last year and hit .188 in the 2010 AFL.

Because Avery is still just 21 and has some raw tools that need much refining, I choose to look at him at this point as a prospect that is still a work in progress.

I would expect that he will return to Bowie to start the 2012 season to continue to work on his defense, his ability to hit lefties and the need to cut down on his strikeouts.

The process to turn Avery into a top talent and future major leaguer still has a ways to go.

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