Let's play two again for O's as minor league spring training continues

Matt Blood is beginning his second season as the Orioles' director of player development. He joined the organization in September 2019. The 2007 University of North Carolina grad has worked in Major League Baseball for nine years with St. Louis and Texas before joining the Orioles. He and the O's minor league and player development staff, at least most of it, have convened in Sarasota, ... read more

Piggyback pitching will come to the O's farm this year

When the Orioles' minor league seasons begin next month, we could see rosters filled with starting pitchers and starting pitcher candidates. Piggyback pitching is coming to the O's farm this year. No, this doesn't have anything to do with anyone lugging around someone else on their back. We've seen it before, where a pitcher will piggyback in a minor league game. It essentially means splitting ... read more

Jim Callis on two under-the-radar O's prospects

It is a question I often get from fans, and when I recently interviewed Jim Callis from MLBPipeline.com, I asked him to identify a couple of under-the-radar or underrated Orioles prospects. We often talk about those at the top of a top 30 list, but those down the list deserve some mention, too. Callis is a big fan of a couple of O's prospects rated ... read more

Callis compares Wieters with Rutschman and more

He is a bit of a marked man as the No. 2 ranked prospect in baseball by MLBPipeline.com, by Baseball America and by ESPN. And at No. 2, catcher Adley Rutschman joins just three other Orioles that have ever been as highly rated by the major prospect analysts. No one has been at the top 100 rankings business as long as Baseball America. The first ... read more

Orioles talk about plans for new Dominican facility

The Orioles continue to step up their game in the international market. The club today announced plans to develop a new, state-of-the-art training academy in Guerra, Dominican Republic. The 22.5-acre complex will be home to the Orioles' Dominican player development operations, which will include three full fields, a sports-turf agility field, batting and pitching tunnels, administrative buildings, dormitories and educational facilities. The Guerra project is ... read more

Orioles unveil plans for new Dominican Republic academy

The vision of a broad and impactful presence internationally, as outlined by Mike Elias after his hiring by the Orioles as executive vice president and general manager in November 2018, stretches beyond the players who are pursued and signed. The Orioles also are serious about the way they're trained and treated. The team announced today plans to develop a new state-of-the-art academy in Guerra, D.R. ... read more

Back with Orioles, Gray Fenter sizes up his Rule 5 experience

It was the top of the fifth inning on March 2 at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz. For most of those watching that day, it was just another spring training baseball game with the Chicago Cubs hosting Kansas City. But for right-hander Gray Fenter, it was not just another day. He was about to pitch in a big league game for the first time. Taken ... read more

Farm system on the move: O's get No. 5 ranking

In January, it was a nice moment and recognition for the Orioles player development operation when it achieved its highest ranking ever in Baseball America's organizational rankings. They came in at No. 7 among all 30 clubs. On Thursday, MLBPipeline.com released its latest top 10 and the Orioles came in at No. 5. Yep, they keep movin' on up. The goal, set by executive vice ... read more

Birdland farm check-in: Single-A Delmarva GM Chris Bitters

Today we wrap up our look around Birdland with the four general managers of the Orioles' full-season minor league affiliates. Today I check in with Chris Bitters, the GM since November 2006 of the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds. The Shorebirds begin their 120-game schedule in the 12-team Low-A East League on May 4 with the season running through Sept. 19. The recent announcement that sports facilities ... read more

Experimental rules coming to the farm during 2021 season

When minor league baseball begins in May, there will be some changes with new rules. It's Major League Baseball's attempt to look at new rules on the farm to see if they want to bring them to the big leagues. MLB said it would "closely monitor and analyze the impact of each rule change throughout the 2021 season and report to clubs on their effects ... read more

Birdland farm check-in: High-A Aberdeen GM Jack Graham

Today, we are continuing our series with another Birdland check-in and we're headed for Aberdeen. Since 2002, the IronBirds, owned by the Ripken family, were an Orioles affiliate in the short-season Single-A New York-Penn League. In 2021 they will play for the first time as a full-season Single-A club. They are in the restructured High-A East. Aberdeen will play 120 games, beginning with a pair ... read more

Orioles announce minor league coaching staffs

The Orioles today announced their minor league coaching staffs for the 2021 season at their four full-season affiliates, plus for two teams in the former Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and two in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. Gary Kendall will begin his third year as manager at Triple-A Norfolk and it's his 22nd season in the Baltimore organization. He led Double-A Bowie to the 2015 ... read more

Mike Baumann has used simple approach to produce special stats

He has been among the most talented and successful pitching prospects in the Orioles organization. To get to there, right-hander Mike Baumann has used a pretty basic and simplistic approach to getting better. That is one to focus on what he can do to get better every single day and not look too far down the road. He's kept that approach since the day the ... read more

Birdland farm check-in: Double-A Bowie GM Brian Shallcross

I'm continuing a check-in around Birdland today by talking with the general managers of the four full-season minor league clubs. In this entry, I spoke with Norfolk Tides GM Joe Gregory. Each interview will have a Zoom interview for you to watch, with some material not covered here in the text. Today, I check in with Brian Shallcross, who has a long history with the ... read more

Birdland farm check-in: Triple-A Norfolk GM Joe Gregory

After the dust has settled on Minor League Baseball, and now that we actually have schedules for the 2021 season, I'm going to check in around Birdland. Today, I start by interviewing Joe Gregory, the general manager of the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. While the primary task of a big league GM is to acquire players to win games, a minor league GM does not acquire ... read more

Expanded resume: Rylan Bannon added to his during instructional league

It happened last season at the Orioles' alternate camp at Bowie. He made a joke that was not 100 percent a joke. When there was not a catcher available during a drill, infielder Rylan Bannon said they could put him back there. It didn't happen that day, but during instructional league a few weeks later, it did. Bannon, who turns 25 in April, went behind ... read more

What a scout says: Checking reports on Garrett Stallings, Chris Shaw

Neither player is currently on the Orioles' 40-man roster. Of the two, one has played in the majors, while the other has yet to play a single inning of pro ball. Both could play in Baltimore at some point in the 2021 season. In this recent entry, I got the take and opinions from a National League scout on the O's possible double play combo ... read more

New season brings opportunity for young pitchers like Zac Lowther

He got a taste of big league camp with the Orioles in Sarasota last season. Now as a new season is about to begin, Zac Lowther is ready to leave his home near Cleveland and head south. He's a bit leaner than last year, and after a 2020 season spent trying to get better without games, looks forward to putting his best forward soon at ... read more

Grenier staying on shortstop grid

As Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias rattled off the names of shortstop prospects in the system during a recent Zoom conference call, the topic born from a question relating to how the club might fill the position next summer, he made sure to include the 37th overall selection in the 2018 draft. The former teammate of catcher Adley Rutschman at Oregon State University. ... read more

Prospect positional rankings and other notes

Baseball America recently released its prospect position rankings, which followed up its release of the publication's top 100, where the Orioles placed five players. Adley Rutschman, ranked No. 2 in the Baseball America top 100 (subscription may be required), is rated as the No. 1 catcher in what Baseball America calls a loaded group of catchers, with nine of their top 10 rated also in ... read more