Some day hopefully soon, the best things that are going on with the Orioles organization will be visible at the major league level. That hasn’t been the case since Mike Elias inherited Dan Duquette’s mess. Until the better days arrive, the most important developments for the future of the franchise are taking place under the hood down on the farm. Having the right people delivering the right message is going to go a long way to determining when things get better in Baltimore.
The team officially announced its minor league coaching and development staffs for the coming season on Wednesday morning. A number of the newly-announced promotions had been reported previously, including the now-official promotion of Buck Britton to the manager’s chair at Triple-A Norfolk. Britton was the Low-A manager when Elias arrived, was bumped up to Double-A immediately, and now is going up another level. It’s not hard to wonder if the team eventually has a major league job in mind for him.
Here’s the full list of coaches and development staff for each of the minor league affiliates. Personnel in new roles are marked with *. New hires to the organization are marked with **.
Triple-A Norfolk Tides
- Manager: Buck Britton*
- Pitching coach: Justin Ramsey*
- Hitting coach: Tim Gibbons
- Fundamentals coach: Ramón Sambo
- Development coach: Joshua Rodrigues**
Britton moves up from Bowie to Norfolk along with his pitching coach, Ramsey. In addition to his pitching coach title, Ramsey has also been announced as the upper-level pitching coordinator, which seems to suggest he will be continuing to have some influence over what goes on in his former Double-A stomping ground. Also joining Britton and Ramsey in the move from Bowie to Norfolk is strength and conditioning coach Jon Medici.
Sambo is heading into his third year on the Norfolk staff. This marks his 16th year with the Orioles organization. There were a whole lot of new hires for these jobs when Elias and company came in. I find the long-time guys who’ve held on through multiple GMs interesting.
Double-A Bowie Baysox
- Manager: Kyle Moore*
- Pitching coach: Josh Conway*
- Hitting coach: Brandon Becker*
- Fundamentals coach: Tim DeJohn*
- Development coach: Billy Facteau*
Moore and Conway have also been promoted together. They served in those roles for High-A Aberdeen previously. DeJohn is also jumping up from Aberdeen to Bowie. Becker makes the jump from the Complex League - the lowest US-based affiliate level - to Bowie. Facteau’s previous job with the organization was Technology Coordinator Intern, so good job by him to earn the promotion to a minor league staff.
High-A Aberdeen IronBirds
- Manager: Roberto Mercado**
- Pitching coach: Forrest Herrmann**
- Hitting coach: Zach Cole*
- Fundamentals coach: Isaiah Paige**
- Development coach: Ryan Goll
This is the first level with completely fresh hires to the organization. Mercado, the manager, has a career path that you don’t see for a minor league manager every day. He’s spent the last ten years as the head baseball coach at New Britain High School in Connecticut. In the summer months, Mercado has also been an assistant coach in the Cape Cod League.
Herrmann was most recently the pitching coach for Low-A Daytona in the Reds organization. He has also served as “pitching strategist” for the Seattle Mariners, a role he held in 2019. The other outside addition is the fundamentals coach, Paige, who was a pitching coach at Dallas College in 2021.
Cole joins the coaching staff after serving in a general role for 2021, when he was the organization’s minor league technology coordinator. Additionally, the new Aberdeen athletic trainer, Allysse Kramer, arrives after six years in the Padres organization.
Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds
- Manager: Felipe Rojas Alou Jr.*
- Pitching coach: Joe Haumacher*
- Hitting coach: Brink Ambler*
- Fundamentals coach: Daniel Fajardo*
- Development coach: Collin Murray**
This is the 15th year in the Orioles organization for Alou, who will spend 2022 as a minor league manager after having previously been the Director of the team’s academy in the Dominican Republic. Most of the rest of the staff is also coming up from different roles in the Orioles minors. Haumacher was a Complex League coach in 2021.
Fajardo played eight years in the O’s minors before being hired as a technology coordinator in the Dominican Republic last season. He joins a minor league coaching staff for 2022. Murray, the one outside-the-organization hire, spent 2021 as a baseball information assistant for the Tigers.
Florida Complex League (two teams)
The Orioles fielded two teams at this level for the first time last season and continue to do so in 2022. It’s an encouraging sign that there are that many low-level prospects worth a roster spot. That simply wasn’t the case with Duquette’s farm system and its near-total lack of international signings.
- Managers: Matt Packer* / Christian Frias*
- Pitching coaches: Adam Bleday / Andy Sadoski*
- Hitting coaches: Josh Bunselmeyer* / Jaylen Ferguson**
- Fundamentals coaches: Troy Marrow** / Collin Woody
- Development coach: Chase Sebby**
The two managers here, Packer and Frias, are making their managerial debuts with their 2022 hires. Packer was a fundamentals coach at Delmarva last season, while Frias served as fundamentals coach of one of the FCL teams. Sadoski and Bunselmeyer have been bumped up from their same respective roles in the Dominican Summer League. Ferguson is a new hire as a coach after retiring from a six-year minor league playing career, all with the Orioles. Marrow is a Baltimore-area native who worked most recently for the Giants.
Dominican Summer League (two teams)
- Managers: Elbis Morel / Chris Madera
- Pitching coaches: Jake Witt* / Dioni Pascual
- Hitting coaches: Julian González** / Christian Poulsen*
- Fundamentals coaches: Ramón Lubo / Miguel Jabalera
In charge of the entire system is once again Director of Player Development Matt Blood, his third season in that role. Also back is Director of Minor League Operations Kent Qualls. Koby Perez will serve his fourth season as Senior Director of International Scouting. Brad Ciolek, in his 11th year with the Orioles, has been promoted to Director of Draft Operations. He’d been heading up draft efforts with a different title since Elias arrived in Baltimore.
A smattering of other news of hires/returnees from the Orioles release: The team has hired Cody Asche, a former five-year big leaguer, from the Phillies organization to serve as upper-level hitting coordinator. The O’s are returning 13 domestic area scouts from last year, with two new hires in addition to a pair of pro scouting consultants. There are three pro scouting analysts and one scouting analyst coordinator in addition to those traditional scouts.
Also announced in the release is a team of three scouts in the Dominican Republic and two in Venezuela. Hopefully these guys can collectively find and develop some future stars and useful roleplayers.