Coaching hitting and infield with the York Revolution, just up I-83 from Baltimore, he once again got a call from the Orioles in 2008 and took on the same role with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Two years later, he was promoted to manager and this season moved up to Frederick, where he's working with some of the club's top prospects at the Class-A Advanced level.
“If there is such a thing as a prospect as a staff member, then Ryan Minor certainly is one,” said Brian Graham, the Orioles director of player development, who was on Baltimore's coaching staff when Minor played there in 2000. “He's got all the qualities you look for in a staff member. You see it sometimes in guys that are players. He came through the system with some great players and showed the qualities.
“He's not that far removed from being a player and he can relate to these guys. He understands the teaching aspect of the game. He can teach hitting and he can teach infield and when you are well rounded you can really work with players individually.”
For Minor, there's not better organization pursue coaching as a path back to the Major Leagues. He and his wife, Allyson, make their home in Salisbury, Md., her hometown and where she works as a schoolteacher.
In addition to Delmarva and Frederick, the Orioles have another Class-A team in Aberdeen, Md., and their AA affiliate in Bowie, Md, with AAA Norfolk is just a two-hour drive down the Atlantic Coast in Virginia. That means as he moves up the organization he can stay close to Allyson and their young special needs daughter.
“It's quick to get home,” Minor said. “My wife brings my daughter up on weekends for homestands and now with school getting out now they are able to come up pretty much every homestand. Bowie is even closer. We're fortunate to have all the teams local.”
The Orioles have turned the franchise back into a contender thanks in large part to its homegrown talent, including young stars such as Manny Machado who Minor coached along the way. If Minor continues in the direction he's heading he could eventually join them in Baltimore.
“I'm just like every person who gets into this job, I want to move up,” he said. “You want to be a part of something and if the big league club does well you want to be a part of that, but I enjoy where I'm at right now and I'm at a higher level than I was last year.”
It's hard to tell exactly how quickly or how far he'll advance in the organization, but it is clear folks in the front office see Ryan Minor in their future.
“There is a core group of people that have really helped organization get where it is,” Graham said. “Ryan Minor is certainly part of that core group.”