Enjoy the success but remember the process

Brad Bergesen was spectacular in his Orioles debut against the White Sox. He had a plan; he executed the plan; and he pitched.

He mixed up his pitches, used his slider and change up effectively and he held a very good hitting White Sox team in check.

Bergesen is an example of successful player development--a pitcher who signed out of high school, was brought along slowly, and understands how to use his talents.

Orioles fans should be excited about the arrival of Bergesen as the first of a wave of talented prospects. He developed; he arrived; and he succeeded.


But we should all keep Bergesen's big league debut in perspective. There is a reason minor league players are called "prospects." There is a long and hard process that is followed.

Getting to the major leagues is not the goal. Being successful in the major leagues is what player development is all about. And there is no time table that is exact and no shortcut to success.

Players develop at their own pace. For Bergesen it took five minor league seasons and 93 games. He earned the promotion to Baltimore because he was ready for the chance. He earned it. But players don't all develop at the same pace or with the same consistent success.

Any seasoned major league executive will tell you that prospects tell them when they are ready for a promotion by their performance. For a pitcher, that's commanding the fastball, having poise, and having the ability to throw all your pitches for strikes.

Bergesen has achieved that and his performance in spring training and in two Triple-A starts did all the talking for him.

And now that Bergesen is with the O's we are all guilty of wondering "who's next?" Instead, we should take a breath and understand that the depth in the Orioles system is impressive, but not yet ready for the prime time lights of the major leagues.

We all know the big names, the players we expect to get the next round of call-ups. Will it be Tillman, or Hernandez, or maybe Arrieta or Patton. How about Berken or Reimold. But until those players show with their performance that they are ready, they should and will remain in the minor leagues.

I'm excited about the Orioles future. Andy MacPhail has a plan that will work. We as fans need to let that plan follow its course. Rushing a prospect to the majors just to see a player promoted isn't part of the plan. Seeing a player develop fully and earn the promotion is.

We will continue to follow the progress of the minor league players. But let's remember, it's a tough game at the big league level. And when a prospect is ready for the chance, his performance will be the sign.

I'm happy for Brad Bergesen and I'm happy for the Orioles player development department. He earned his chance, and in one major league start he succeeded.

We now have a glimpse of the future. But let's allow the future to fully take hold. The players will tell us when they are ready. And until they do, we will have to be patient knowing that somewhere down the road the organization will turn the corner.