In a series of front office promotions Thursday, the Orioles have covered for the departure of Brad Ciolek, their former director of draft operations.

Ciolek left earlier this month for a position with the Nationals, where he will be part of a team that overhauls the club’s scouting operations. His title in Washington is the senior director of amateur scouting.

One of the major moves that the Orioles announced was the promotion of Matt Blood to vice president of player development and domestic scouting. Formerly the director of player development, largely overseeing the Orioles’ top-ranked minor league system, Blood will now have an enhanced scope of duties that includes recruiting and developing staff, furthering player development strategies and programs throughout the minor league system, and managing first-year player draft operations.

Blood joined the Orioles in September 2019 after serving as the Texas Rangers’ director of player development. Before Texas, he was an area scout for the St. Louis Cardinals.

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In addition to Blood’s promotion, several other changes appear to complete Baltimore’s replacement of Ciolek through internal means.

Blood’s original position will be filled by Anthony Villa, a source confirmed to The Baltimore Banner. Villa, who served as the minor league hitting coordinator in 2023, will now be the director of player development. MASN first reported Villa’s promotion.

“We are very proud to announce this wave of promotions for a group of exceptionally talented and hard-working people,” executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said in a statement. “Each has played a vital role in the recent success of the franchise, including the numerous accolades for our top-ranked farm system, the expansion of our international scouting presence, and of course bringing the AL East championship back to Baltimore with a historic 101-win season. I would like to congratulate each of these individuals on their well-deserved promotions and thank John Angelos and the entire partnership group for their steadfast support and investment in Orioles baseball.”

The draft process, which Ciolek oversaw, has been reshaped by the slew of promotions. Blood is a key figure in the process, but it’s a multifaceted operation. Hendrik Herz, formerly a senior analyst of scouting, received a promotion to become the manager of domestic scouting analysis, a position that focuses on data-driven player evaluations.

Mike Snyder is now the senior director of pro scouting, rising from a director title in the same department. Kevin Carter, a senior analyst of pro scouting, is now a manager of pro scouting. Chad Tatum, in turn, is now the manager of domestic scouting. All three have a role in the draft process, although Tatum will be most closely involved as a direct report of Blood’s.

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Will Robertson, who reports to assistant general manager Eve Rosenbaum, moved from his role as a senior analyst of pro scouting to a special assignment scout. In that position, Robertson will make player evaluations at all levels: professional, international, amateur and minor leagues.

Alex Tarandek became a senior analyst of scouting. And Michael Weis is now the senior data scientist of draft evaluation.

Internationally, Koby Perez received a bump from senior director of international scouting to vice president of international scouting and operations. Perez continues to oversee all aspects of Baltimore’s international scouting setup and the use of the club’s bonus pool for signings. He will also take charge of the organization’s new training academy opening in the Dominican Republic.

Elsewhere, Gerardo Cabrera is taking over as the director of Latin American scouting, and Maria Arellano has been named the senior manager of international operations and baseball administration.

The tweaks appear to set Baltimore’s front office landscape heading into the offseason. The Orioles won their first American League East title since 2014 with a 101-win season. Now, they’ll look to build on the early rewards of their rebuild with an altered structure at the helm under Elias.

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville. 

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