SARASOTA, Fla. - Here is the second part of the interview with Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette.
The Orioles minor leagues are obviously improved. There have been some solid rankings of your players individually and the system collectively. What is the state of the O's farm right now?
"I'm encouraged by some of the improvement in the rankings from some of the major publications that follow it closely. We've moved up from 28 into the teens and I saw one ranking where we were 10, which shows good progress. We won that Arizona Fall League with some good players and these publications are taking note of the depth of talent we have in our minors, and that is all very encouraging.
"That shows that our scouting people, Gary Rajsich and his group, and our player development operation, Brian Graham and Rick Peterson, are doing a good job."
It seems like a lot of people on your staff have done some good things these last two years on the farm.
"You know, you have to have good talent hunters. Fred Ferreira and Gary Rajsich are pros. They know good talent. Danny and Matt Haas, those guys know talent. We have some real experience in the minors with our player development staff. Kent Qualls has been at it for a long time. Brian Graham managed at every level and shows good leadership. Some of our managers have been around. We have pro scouts like Bruce Kison, Dave Engle, Lee Thomas. We have some good veteran baseball people who have been making steady contributions to the Orioles."
Do you still believe that over the next five years or so that the O's core players will come from your farm?
Because that is good economic baseball?
"That is the only way to do it. I don't know any other way to do it."
Are you proud of where the Orioles have come from in the majors and minors in your first two seasons?
"You know, our fans like this group of players and our players like to work hard. You know the lunch pail carrying persona of this team I think resonates with the fans. I think they like the team."