The Orioles stayed in-house to fill a key role in their baseball operations department.
After losing director of draft operations Brad Ciolek to the Washington Nationals earlier this month, Baltimore on Thursday elevated Matt Blood to oversee the Orioles’ draft operations, among other player development-related duties, amid a flurry of promotions by the club.
Blood, who joined the Orioles in September 2019, has been the organization’s director of player development for the past four years. His new title is vice president of player development and domestic scouting. In addition to overseeing draft operations, he will supervise the Orioles’ player development and scouting operations.
Blood was one of a dozen members of Baltimore’s baseball operations department to be promoted Thursday. Replacing Blood as director of player development is Anthony Villa, who spent the 2023 season as the Orioles’ minor league hitting coordinator, a source with direct knowledge confirmed to The Baltimore Sun. Villa played in the Chicago White Sox’s minor league system from 2016 to 2018 and joined the Orioles as a coach in November 2019. He served as hitting coach for High-A Aberdeen in 2020 and the Orioles’ Florida Complex League team in 2021 before transitioning to the organization’s lower-level hitting coordinator in 2022. MASNSports.com first reported Villa’s promotion.
As Baltimore’s farm director, Blood helped the Orioles’ minor league system become the sport’s best. Baltimore has boasted the No. 1 prospect on Baseball America’s top 100 list entering the previous two seasons with Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, and 19-year-old Jackson Holliday is currently rated by the publication as the sport’s top prospect. Six Orioles prospects are inside Baseball America’s top 100.
Before joining the Orioles, Blood was director of player development for the Texas Rangers in 2019 and spent the previous three years as director of USA Baseball’s 18 and Under National Team Program. He got his start in professional baseball as an area scout with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2009 to 2015. Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias joined the Cardinals as a scout in 2007 and was their manager of amateur scouting in 2010, while Baltimore’s vice president and assistant general manager of analytics Sig Mejdal worked in St. Louis’ analytics department from 2005 to 2011.
Ciolek left for Washington after spending more than a decade with the Orioles. He had overseen each of the five drafts since Elias was hired in November 2018. He joined the Nationals as their senior director of amateur scouting, a move Washington publicly announced Wednesday.
Among the other promotions, Koby Perez, one of Elias’ first hires, was elevated from senior director of international scouting to his new title of vice president of international scouting and operations. Mike Snyder, a holdover from the previous regime, was promoted from director of pro scouting to senior director of pro scouting.
The other promotions include: Gerardo Cabrera from Latin American supervisor to director of Latin American scouting; Kevin Carter from senior pro scouting analyst to manager of pro scouting; Hendrik Herz from senior scouting analyst to manager of domestic scouting analysis; Chad Tatum from senior scouting analyst to manager of domestic scouting; Will Robertson from senior pro scouting analyst to special assignment scout; and Alex Tarandek from scouting analyst to senior scouting analyst. Michael Weis was named senior data scientist of draft evaluation, while Maria Arellano was named senior manager of international operations and baseball administration.