A Conversation with Orioles Director of Player Development Matt Blood, Part 2 – The Athletic

It’s been over two years since Matt Blood became director of player development for the Orioles. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which wiped out the 2020 minor league season, he has only had one year to fully assess the organization’s system.

Blood spoke at length in Part 1 of his Q&A with The Athletic on the philosophy, mindset, and organizational structure. In this second segment, we talked about details, including two new hires and three of the organization’s individual successes in 2021 (due to the current lockout, the Commissioner’s office advised team leaders not to not discuss players on the 40 player rosters).

In the final segment with Blood, which takes place later this week, he features 10 names and brief scouting reports of prospects under the system’s radar.

(Note: This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.)

In those last three draft under the direction of general manager Mike Elias, the Orioles have struck out 24 hitters of their 28 picks in the first 10 rounds. How has this been a challenge for development and how do you see the general state of the pitch in the organization?

I wouldn’t say it has been a challenge. We have enough pitchers to pitch in every game, and we have a really advanced and talented coaching staff who I think make the most of the pitchers we have. And I’m personally excited about a lot of hands in the organization. I think we have some depth there. But, in terms of player development in general, our job is to develop major caliber players – as much value as we can develop for the major leagues. That’s what we’re here to do.

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Norma A. Roth