The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Justin Orton as a Development Coach in the Dominican Summer League this season. He comes to the Pirates after completing four years as a player for the University of British Columbia Firebirds in 2018, followed by coaching positions for two teams at UBC, leading up to this hiring. You can read a bit more on him from his school’s site.
This is a new position with the team and Orton is excited to get going once baseball activities resume.
“I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity to be a development coach within such a top notch organization like the Pirates,” Orton told Pirates Prospects. “My job will be to leverage certain technologies to individualize players’ development plans and then track those plans, pass knowledge to coaches on certain technology, how to use it. The challenge is to always improve and always get better.”
Orton has experience working with advanced technology and he’s certified in Rapsodo Hitting, Driveline Hitting and K-Vest, but he knows that you still have to mix the new with the old. He mentioned that building a relationship with each individual player will play a vital role in his job. His Twitter feed shows you exactly why the Pirates would give him a chance in the system and I recommend checking it out, especially if you appreciate the advanced technology side. Here’s a tweet that shows perfectly why when I asked about him with the Pirates, I was told that “he is a brilliant guy, who will help us in all aspects of hitting”.
the right answers, but how they answered. How did they explain their thoughts? How do they learn? This has helped me immensely understand and coach different athletes.
— Justin Orton (@orty24) December 17, 2019
The DSL Pirates will have a strong group of hitting prospects this year, between the best who remain from the 2019 squads and the numerous top notch additions during the 2019-20 international signing period. It won’t be quite as loaded as the 2019 hitting group because the Pirates invested much more than normal on pitching during this international signing period. They also signed two top hitters in Solomon Maguire and Tsung-Che Chang, who won’t be with the DSL club. That being said, there are plenty of solid hitting prospects slated for the DSL once play resumes and Orton will be working closely with all of them.