A chat with Orioles’ Director of Development, Matt Blood, Part 1 – The Athletic

It was a while before Matt Blood could finally see exactly what he was doing in the Orioles organization.

Former Texas Rangers’ director of player development, Blood, took on a similar role with the Orioles in September 2019.

He ran a league teaching camp and spring training in early 2020 before everything closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood, a former St. Louis Cardinals area scout and US baseball director, waited. He spent some time teaching at the organization’s alternative location in Bowie in 2020 and coordinating with the coaches and analysts of the sub-division system.

And he continued to wait for his new protégés to finally play games that counted in the overall standings. That finally happened in May when minor league baseball officially returned to the field after a hiatus of about 20 months.

The 2021 season was, for the most part, a pretty good one for Blood and the Orioles’ prospects.

The organization’s farm system was named # 1 by Baseball America. Several young players showed why Blood and General Manager Mike Elias were high on them. And some lesser-known players were pushing their way into future plans with strong seasons. But above all, 2021 was the opportunity for Blood and his employees to finally evaluate again in real baseball time.

Blood agreed to a Q&A with The Athletic this month discussing various topics including development philosophies, the process of building coaching staff, the use of analytics and technology, the state of the organization, and a look at some of their top players.

Unfortunately, due to the baseball lockout, conversation was limited to smaller leagues that weren’t on the 40-man list.

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