Monday, February 18, 2008

Orioles Decide To Expand Their Talent Focus; The Rundown

A glaring weakness in the Baltimore Orioles scouting system is finally being looked at. Despite the leaps and bounds the organization has made in rebuilding its minor league and getting new blood, their attempts at getting internationals hails in comparison to the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox.

According to the, Spencer Fordin, Baltimore is taking a new approach to scouting on the international front. The organization will start to look at new avenues of talent, including other areas of Latin America, along with Asia.

Andy MacPhail has tabbed John Stockstill, a member of the scouting team to spearhead the effort.

From the "We need to be more involved. Over a third of the players that play in the Major Leagues are from outside the country," said MacPhail. "I don't think it's realistic to think we're going to jump into the deep end and be right there. I think it's more going to be a function of trying to ascertain the unique qualities of each market and where you need to be."

Stockstill, who worked previously as an assistant general manager in charge of pro scouting, will be responsible for scouting outside the First-Year Player Draft and reviewing the work already done by other scouts. He'll have the responsibility of deciding when the Orioles should move forward or move on, and he'll bring all his information back to MacPhail.

The job will take Stockstill all over the world, from Caribbean islands and South America clear across to the Pacific Rim.

"We've always been in Latin America, but the Asian thing is not a new thing -- it's upgrading what we have now," Stockstill said. "We've been in the market and made offers on Japanese players in the past, so it's a matter of going to a new level that's the next step for us. Some countries have rules where you can't sign certain level players. Obviously, for a club like the Orioles, Japan is a very interesting market, because that's where the most ready for Major League level talent is playing."

Considering the successes that their AL East rivals, the Yankees and Red Sox, along with the Dodgers, Mets have had with finding stars in other reaches of the world – this was a no-brainer.

Obviously, the goal is to get more talent into the organization; however, another payoff is create a new market financially for the Orioles (as the Red Sox and Yankees) have had some success there.

However, that’s down the road.

This move is one in the line of several to make the Orioles more competitive and rebuild the credibility of organization in baseball.

It’s a goal, we as fans, should be happy with.

The Sun's Dan Connolly also has a piece about the attempts to broaden international scouting.


Spencer Fordin reports that the battle for the 5th starter is wide open, and contenders for it include, Garrett Olson, Troy Patton, Hayden Penn, Matt Albers, along with Radhames Liz, Brian Burres and Lance Cormier.

Jeff Zrebeic notes that the Orioles have very few vertically-challenged pitchers on the squad. Perhaps we make the makings of the old Baltimore Bullets, or at least reserves on the Baltimore Ravens.

Estaban Yan, who started his MLB career with Baltimore, is looking to make the squad after a career filled with ups, but mostly downs...

Meanwhile, erstwhile Sun reporter, Roch Kubatko is impressed by the young arms he sees in camp and as well notes that other members of the team are finally starting to show up. Also, he was able to get a few words with the highly touted Adam Jones.

David Ginsburg reports that Adam Jones feels that he's still has a lot to prove; meanwhile, it's looking more and more likely that Luis Hernandez will be Baltimore's shortstop. Orioles Hangout reports that Scott Moore is working in the outfield; Oriole Central & Camden Chat look at the news from the weekend; The Wayward O is one; & Orioles & Lobster takes a look at George Sherill...

Last, but not least, MASN & WJZ are giving fans a chance to catch Spring Training down in Sunny Florida.

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