It's tough to pinpoint just one person, but the organization, for the first time in recent memory, did a tremendous job in having its minor leaguers prepared to succeed at the major league level in 2012. After Duquette was hired, he brought in or approved the hirings of director of pitching development Rick Peterson (above, with Dylan Bundy), hitting coordinator Mike Boulanger and rehab specialist Chris Correnti while retaining key members (Bobby Dickerson, Brian Graham, Mike Griffin, Gary Kendall, John Stockstill) and promoting others (Tripp Norton) to further bolster the minors. Perhaps the most important decision was grabbing former Red Sox coach Ron Johnson and inserting him as Triple-A Norfolk's manager. Johnson, a tremendous communicator and respected baseball lifer, had to deal a the revolving door of players on a daily basis. His recommendations to Orioles manager Buck Showalter helped the Orioles call up the right players at the right time. It was also the minor-league contingent that had Double-A shortstop Manny Machado prepared to come up and play third base in the big leagues, another crucial chapter in the storybook 2012 season.
Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun
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