The Texas Rangers today announced the managers, coaches, and staff for all minor league affiliates in 2017. Texas affiliates combined to produce a winning record for the seventh consecutive season in 2016 and claimed a California League title.
The Texas farm system will feature a pair of new managers in 2017. Spike Owen, who served as Rangers interim third base coach in 2016, will be the manager at Low-A Hickory. The former major league infielder enters his ninth season in the Texas organization and second as a manager after a successful debut with High-A High Desert in 2015. Matt Hagen will take the managerial reigns for Short-Season Spokane. Hagen joined the organization in 2016 as a coach on the Hickory staff after a long playing career and a stint as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Liberty University.
Former major league outfielder Damon Mashore has joined the organization as a baserunning coordinator. Mashore is the brother of current Rangers Assistant Hitting Coach Justin Mashore and spent the last four years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, including the last two as hitting coordinator. He appeared in 185 major league games from 1996-98 with the Oakland Athletics and Anaheim Angels, batting .249 with 8 home runs and 41 RBI.
Texas has also added several new staff members at the club's minor league affiliates, including Turtle Thomas at Spokane. Thomas has spent the past 37 years as a coach at the collegiate level, including the last nine as the head coach at Florida International University. Thomas also served as an assistant coach at LSU (2000-06) and Miami (1988-99).
The Rangers will return to the Carolina League in 2017 with their new High-A affiliate, the Down East Wood Ducks. Former MLB All-Star Howard Johnson will lead the Wood Ducks in their inaugural campaign. In 2016, Johnson earned California League Manager of the Year honors and led the organization's High-A affiliate to a California League title.
Many returning staff members will have new assignments in 2017. Steve Mintz will serve as the pitching coach for the Wood Ducks after managing Hickory in 2016. Kenny Hook (Hickory), Chase Lambin (Spokane), and Jared Goedert (AZL Rangers) will have new positions as hitting coaches. Sharnol Adriana (Hickory) moves to the Crawdads staff after spending his initial season in the organization at Frisco. Former Ranger Guilder Rodriguez will be making his stateside coaching debut with the AZL Rangers. Ric Mabie, who spent six seasons at Round Rock, will be the organization's rehab strength and conditioning coordinator in Arizona. Strength and conditioning coaches Eric McMahon (Round Rock), Wade Lamont (Frisco), and Adam Noel (Hickory) will all join new clubs in 2017.
A look at the 2017 staff (changes from 2016 underlined in italics; new hires denoted by*):
Round Rock (AAA)
Manager: Jason Wood
Pitching: Greg Hibbard
Coach: Geno Petralli
Trainer: Carlos Olivas
Strength: Eric McMahon
Manager: Joe Mikulik
Pitching: Brian Shouse
Coach: Jason Hart
Trainer: Jacob Newburn
Strength: Wade Lamont
Down East (High-A)
Manager: Howard Johnson
Pitching: Steve Mintz
Coach: Bobby Rose
Trainer: Alex Rodriguez
Strength: Al Sandoval*
Manager: Spike Owen
Pitching: Jose Jaimes
Coach: Kenny Hook
Coach: Sharnol Adriana
Trainer: Dustin Vissering
Strength: Adam Noel
Manager: Matt Hagen
Pitching: Joey Seaver
Coach: Chase Lambin
Coach: Turtle Thomas*
Trainer: Luke Teeters
Strength: Ed Yong
Manager: Matt Siegel
Pitching: Henderson Lugo
Pitching: John Armold
Coach: Jared Goedert
Coach: Salomon Manriquez
Coach: Guilder Rodriguez
Trainer: Bronson Santillan*
Manager: Carlos Cardoza
Pitching: Jesus Delgado
Pitching: Pablo Blanco
Coach: Chad Comer
Coach: Alexis Infante
Coach: Chu Ovalle
Coach: Roberto De La Rosa
Trainer: Aliks Lorie
Trainer: Jeff Case
Strength: Eduardo Thomas
Field Coordinator: Corey Ragsdale
Pitching Coordinator: Danny Clark
Hitting Coordinator: Josue Perez
Catching Coordinator: Chris Briones
Asst. Hitting/Outfield Coordinator: Dwayne Murphy
Asst. Pitching Coordinator: Jeff Andrews
Infield Coordinator: Kenny Holmberg
Base Running Coordinator: Damon Mashore*
Director, Peak Performance: Josiah Igono
Director, Nutrition: Stephanie Fernandes
Medical Coordinator: Jason Roberts
Asst. Medical and Rehab Coord.: Chris Olson
Rehab Coordinator: Sean Fields
Rehab Pitching Coordinator: Keith Comstock
Strength and Conditioning Coord.: Napoleon Pichardo
Rehab Strength and Cond. Coord.: Ric Mabie
Special Assistant, Pitching: Mark Connor
Arizona Complex Operations
Coordinator, Arizona Operations: Stosh Hoover
Minor League Equipment Manager: Chris Ackerman
The organization's roving instructor staff remains largely intact from 2016. Corey Ragsdale will lead the group in his second season as Field Coordinator. Danny Clark begins his 12th season in the Texas system and ninth as the organization's pitching coordinator. Josue Perez (Hitting Coordinator), Chris Briones (Catching Coordinator), Dwayne Murphy (Assistant Hitting/Outfield Coordinator), Jeff Andrews (Asst. Pitching Coordinator), and Kenny Holmberg (Infield Coordinator) each return in their previous roles. Mashore is the lone addition to the roving staff.
Former major league infielder Jason Wood returns for a third season at the helm of the Express and ninth season overall in the organization. Wood's staff remains mostly unchanged as Jim Presley (Hitting) and Greg Hibbard (Pitching) each return for their second season. Former Texas backstop Geno Petralli will also be on the staff for a third straight season. Carlos Olivas will be the club's trainer and Eric McMahon (Strength and Conditioning) joins the staff after six seasons in Frisco.
Joe Mikulik returns to Frisco for his 3rd season, his 19th season overall as a minor league manager. Former Rangers Jason Hart (Hitting) and Brian Shouse (Pitching) will both return to Mikulik's staff. Jacob Newburn begins his second season as Frisco's athletic trainer. Wade Lamont (Strength and Conditioning) joins the 'Riders after serving in the same role at Hickory last season.
Johnson will manage the Down East Wood Ducks in their first season. Bobby Rose will be the organization's High-A hitting instructor for a 3rd straight season, while Steve Mintz returns to mentoring pitchers after spending last season as the Hickory manager. Alex Rodriguez (Athletic Trainer) and Al Sandoval (Strength and Conditioning) round out the staff.
After spending last season as the big league interim third base coach for Texas, Spike Owen will manage the Crawdads. Owen's staff will include Jose Jaimes (Pitching), Kenny Hook (Hitting), and Sharnol Adriana (Coach). Jaimes will be in his second season with Hickory and ninth season overall as an instructor in the organization, while Hook joins Hickory after spending last season at Spokane. Adriana made his coaching debut with Frisco in 2016. Dustin Vissering (Athletic Trainer) and Adam Noel (Strength and Conditioning) are also part of the Hickory staff.
Matt Hagen will lead the Spokane Indians in 2017 after joining the organization last season as a coach on the Hickory staff. Hagen's staff will include Joey Seaver (Pitching), Chase Lambin (Hitting), and Turtle Thomas (Coach). Seaver is the only returner from the 2016 Spokane staff, while Lambin moves up from the AZL Rangers. Luke Teeters (Athletic Trainer) and Ed Yong (Strength and Conditioning) both return to the Indians.
Matt Siegel will manage the Arizona League Rangers for a second straight season. Henderson Lugo and John Armold both return to the AZL Rangers staff as pitching coaches. Salomon Manriquez also returns as a hitting coach, while Jared Goedert joins the staff from Spokane. Former Ranger Guilder Rodriguez moves to the AZL Rangers after spending last season as a coach in the Dominican. Bronson Santillan will be the club's athletic trainer in his first season in the organization.
Carlos Cardoza will manage the Dominican Summer League Rangers for a second straight season after leading the club to its fourth consecutive appearance in the DSL Championship Series. Jesus Delgado and Pablo Blanco both return to the staff as pitching coaches, while Chad Comer, Alexis Infante, Chu Ovalle, and Roberto De La Rosa also return. Aliks Lorie and Jeff Case will return to the staff as athletic trainers and Eduardo Thomas will be the team's strength and conditioning coach for a 10th season.