The new hires and reassignments in the Orioles’ minor league system that were made public yesterday in a press release included a batch of names from outside professional baseball. As expected and, in some cases, already reported.
Tim Gibbons, the hitting coach at Double-A Bowie, worked as director of hitting at Elite Sports Training. Ryan Fuller, the hitting coach at Single-A Delmarva, comes from Power in Training.
These aren’t affiliates.
There are recent interns, trainees and apprentices. There are former farmhands elevated to coaching positions. There’s a Tigers area scout, Jeff Kunkel, who’s been named Delmarva’s fundamentals coach. And the college ranks are used to fill various openings.
Two of the more notable hires are Eve Rosenbaum as director of baseball development and Kathryn Rowe as sports psychologist.
The Orioles created a position and pursued Rosenbaum, the Bethesda native who comes from the Astros organization - no surprise there - and has been assigned the task of overseeing the alignment of methods across baseball operations and also enhancing coordination between the scouting, player development and analytics departments.
An unnecessary role in previous years due to the missing analytics part.
“I’ve worked with Eve in the past and she’s extremely bright and has a very firm grasp of player evaluation and scouting and in particular varying traditional scouting techniques with some of the newer methods of player evaluation that have been made available to us by the advent of certain technologies and access to video and data that’s gone on around the league,” said executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias.
“She has that blend that we’re looking for. I think clearly the fact that there’s a working comfort between her and the rest of us that came from Houston - Sig Mejdal and Chris Holt and others - I think will make for an easy transition. But overall we have a lot of work that has yet to be done in terms of building out our digital infrastructure for scouting, player development, player evaluation. And I think that somebody to spearhead that and serve as a voice and have a feel for what goes into the work that those users do will be helpful.
“It’s a good role for her. She’s at the point in her career where she had some big opportunities with other clubs and I think we’re very happy that she has chosen to join us.”
The idea of creating a director of baseball development role came prior to the decision to hire Rosenbaum.
“It was a position that we had planned for and it’s something that exists around the league,” Elias said. “I think in particular her skills are a good fit for it as she has kind of a broad base of general skills. As we’re going to be doing so much involving amateur scouting, international scouting, the draft, the scouting analysis group that we recently created, somebody to work on those areas and developing the tools and methods we’re going to use in those areas was necessary, and I think her experience was a perfect fit for it.”
Rowe worked as a mental skills coach for the University of Rochester men’s soccer team. Bringing her to Baltimore is part of a much broader arrangement.
“We’ve decided to partner with the Naval Academy and the University of Maryland, and a couple of sports psychologists that work respectively at those universities - Dr. Michelle Girvan from Maryland and Dr. Jessica Mohler - that work in the field,” Elias said. “They’re partnering with the Orioles, we’re creating this position. There will be cross-training and cross-cooperation amongst the three institutions and this role will be dedicated more toward us and our players during the peak times of the baseball seasons and then spend time with the universities in the offseason.
“We think it will make for a much more instructive, educational setup for how we want to build out our mental skills department over the years.”
The Orioles posted the position and had an open hiring process that led them to Rowe.
Much of the internal shuffling was reported here over the past two months, including Mike Griffin going from Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach to the organization’s pitching rehabilitation coach - though the past term was “coordinator.” And Double-A Bowie’s Kennie Steenstra replacing Griffin
Also, Butch Davis going from Norfolk hitting coach to Bowie’s fundamentals coach. Manager Kyle Moore moving up from low Single-A Delmarva to Single-A Frederick. Former minor league infield coordinator Dave Anderson managing in Delmarva next season. Justin Ramsey, the pitching coach at Delmarva in 2019, handling the same role at Bowie.
Dave Schmidt remains the rehab coordinator while entering his 23rd season in the organization.