The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have hired Jeff Smith and Jeff Pickler to the Major League coaching staff. Smith will serve as First Base Coach, oversee catching instruction and assist with baserunning instruction. Pickler will serve as Major League Coach and Coordinator of Major League Development. In his role Pickler will oversee outfield instruction, advise all coaches and players on game preparation and strategy, and coordinate communication between the major leagues and player development.
Smith, 42, has managed or coached at various levels in the Twins minor league system for the last 12 seasons. He spent the last two as manager at Single-A Ft. Myers. Prior to that, he managed Double-A New Britain from 2010-14, managed at Ft. Myers from 2008-09, managed Single-A Beloit from 2006-07 and was hitting coach at the GCL Twins in 2005.
Smith was selected by the Twins in the 20th round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft out of Stetson (FL) University. He played nine seasons of minor league baseball from 1996-2004 with the Twins, Texas and Boston organizations.
Pickler, 40, served the last two seasons as Special Assistant, Player Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Prior to that he worked for the San Diego Padres as a Pro Scout and Special Assignment Scout from 2010, 2012-14, Minor League Infield Coordinator for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2011, one season as an Assistant Coach at the University of Arizona in 2009 and three seasons as an Advance Scout and Special Assistant for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2006-08.
Pickler was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 11th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Tennessee and played parts of eight seasons of professional baseball from 1998-2005. The former second baseman and leftfielder played in 904 career minor league games in the Milwaukee, Texas and Colorado organizations.
In addition, the Twins have retained the following major league support staff for the 2017 season: Head Athletic Trainer Dave Pruemer, Assistant Athletic Trainer Tony Leo, Assistant Athletic Trainer and Rehab Coordinator Lanning Tucker, Strength and Conditioning Coach Perry Castellano, Director of Major League Video Sean Harlin, and bullpen catchers Nate Dammann and Ben Richardson.
Below is the Twins coaching staff for the 2017 season:
Manager -- Paul Molitor
Hitting Coach -- James Rowson
Bench Coach -- Joe Vavra
Assistant Hitting Coach -- Rudy Hernandez
Major League Coach -- Jeff Pickler
First Base Coach -- Jeff Smith
Pitching Coach -- Neil Allen
Third Base Coach -- Gene Glynn
Bullpen Coach -- Eddie Guardado