The Texas Rangers announced the club's minor league coaching staffs for the 2012 season on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the offseason, the organization introduced former Astros farm director and general manager Tim Purpura as its new Senior Director of Player Development. Purpura takes the job vacated by Scott Servais, who joined the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as an assistant general manager in charge of scouting and player development.
Arlington native Jake Krug, entering his 10th season with the Rangers, was promoted to Director of Minor League Operations after spending the last two years as an Assistant Director of Player Development.
According to the Rangers' press release, the organization's player development leadership team consists of Purpura, Krug, pitching coordinator Danny Clark and field coordinator Jayce Tingler.
Special Assistant – Mark Connor
Special Assistant – Harry Spilman
Pitching – Danny Clark
Field Coordinator – Jayce Tingler
Infield/Baserunning – Casey Candaele
Catching – Hector Ortiz
Hitting – Randy Ready
Assistant Hitting – Luis Ortiz
Special Assignment – Brian Dayett
Veteran pitching coach Mark Connor had coached in the Rangers' organization for eight seasons before taking a job as the Baltimore Orioles' major league pitching coach in 2011. He resigned for personal reasons last June and quickly re-joined Texas as a roving special assistant pitching coach in the minor leagues, the same position he'd held between '08 and '10.
The biggest change among the roving positions is the hiring of hitting coordinator Randy Ready, who was the San Diego Padres' major league hitting coach between June 2009 and last season. Ready was let go by the San Diego organization after the '11 campaign. He had spent previous years managing at the Single-, Double- and Triple-A levels of the Padres' system from '04 to '09 before he was named their major league hitting coach. The 52-year-old former big league utility man resides in Dallas.
The other changes involve reassignments of several minor league coaches. Jayce Tingler, who worked last season overseeing the Arizona League and Dominican Summer League clubs, was promoted to field coordinator earlier this offseason. Former major league catcher Hector Ortiz, who was the rookie club's manager last season, will serve as a roving catching instructor this year. And one of Spokane's hitting instructors from last year––Brian Dayett––is now a special assignment coach.
Danny Clark will enter his fourth season as the organization's minor league pitching coordinator. He took over for Rick Adair, who currently holds Connor's former position as Baltimore's pitching coach.
Round Rock (AAA)
Manager – Bobby Jones
Pitching – Terry Clark
Hitting – Brant Brown
Coach – Spike Owen
Jason Roberts (Trainer) and Ric Mabie (Strength Coach)
Express Manager Bobby Jones enters his 41st season as part of the Texas Rangers' organization. The 62-year-old has been coaching in the system since 1988, managing clubs at High-A Charlotte (three seasons), Double-A Tulsa (eight seasons) and Triple-A Oklahoma City and Round Rock (nine seasons). He also spent two years––2001 and 2006––as the Rangers' big league first base coach.
The veteran manager serves as an extra assistant coach for the major league team during spring training, and he also did so in September and during the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
The only change to the Triple-A coaching staff is the promotion of hitting coach Brant Brown from Double-A. He takes the spot vacated by Scott Coolbaugh, who was named the Rangers' major league hitting coach in mid-season last year. Mike Boulanger took over for Coolbaugh on an interim basis last season, but his contract was not renewed for the 2012 season. Boulanger, 62, had been with the Texas organization since 2003.
Brown, 40, spent five seasons in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins. The California native entered the professional coaching ranks at High-A Bakersfield in '07 and had spent the past three years as the Frisco RoughRiders' hitting instructor. He also served as a coach for the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League in 2010.
Manager – Steve Buechele
Pitching – Jeff Andrews
Hitting – Jason Hart
Carlos Olivas (Trainer) and Eric McMahon (Strength Coach)
Former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele is set to begin his fourth season as a manager in the Texas organization, and his third with the RoughRiders. Buechele took High-A Bakersfield to its first playoff appearance in nearly a decade in 2009 and has guided Frisco to the Texas League postseason in each of the last two years.
Jason Hart, who played the '02 through '06 seasons at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma, earns the promotion to become Brown's replacement as the RoughRiders' hitting coach. Hart played the '05 season with Frisco and batted .246 with 21 home runs and 77 RBI. The 34-year-old began his coaching career in '08 as an extra assistant at Single-A Clinton. He joined the organization full-time in '09 as the rookie-level Surprise Rangers' hitting coach and spent the last two seasons at Single-A Hickory.
Myrtle Beach (A+)
Manager – Jason Wood
Pitching – Brad Holman
Hitting – Julio Garcia
Coach – Kenny Holmberg
Jeff Bodenhamer (Trainer) and Ryan McNeal (Strength Coach)
The entire coaching staff from last season's division-winning Pelicans squad will return for another season. The 42-year-old Wood came to the Texas system after finishing an 18-year professional career in 2008, working as Bakersfield's hitting coach for two years before being named the Myrtle Beach skipper prior to the 2011 campaign.
Pitching Coach Brad Holman and Hitting Coach Julio Garcia will also begin their second seasons in Myrtle Beach. The lone change is assistant Kenny Holmberg, who served as the Rangers' Dominican Summer League manager in each of the last two seasons. The 28-year-old is the son of Dennis Holmberg, long-time manager in the Toronto Blue Jays' system (1979–present).
Manager – Bill Richardson
Pitching – Storm Davis
Hitting – Josue Perez
Coach – Humberto Miranda
Jacob Newburn (Trainer) and Anthony Miller (Strength Coach)
Crawdads Manager Bill Richardson will be back for a third year at Hickory and his fifth overall as a manager with the Rangers. Pitching Coach Storm Davis returns for his second year in the organization.
Cuba native Josue Perez, 34, replaces Hart as the Crawdads' hitting coach after working the last handful of seasons between the Arizona League and short-season Spokane. The Rangers technically signed Humberto Miranda to a minor league contract last season, but he worked part-time as an instructor in the Arizona and Dominican Summer Leagues while also serving as an assistant coach for Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Tex. Miranda will join the Low-A team on a full-team basis as an extra assistant, much like Hart in '08 and Corey Ragsdale last year.
Manager – Tim Hulett
Pitching – Ryan O'Malley
Hitting – Oscar Bernard
Coach – Vinny Lopez
Sean Fields (Trainer) and Ed Yong (Strength Coach)
Tim Hulett, who has earned Northwest League Manager of the Year honors in two of the last four seasons, will come back for his sixth year as Spokane's leader. The former big league infielder has also headed up the storied Evangel Christian Academy program in Shreveport for the last seven years. Hulett joins the Indians each year after the high school season is completed.
O'Malley and Bernard had worked as coaches for the Rangers' Arizona League club the last two seasons, and they both earn the promotion to Spokane for 2012. The 31-year-old O'Malley pitched briefly for the Chicago Cubs during the 2006 season before suffering an elbow injury during his major league debut.
Vinny Lopez experienced his introduction into professional coaching while serving as a special assistant at Single-A Hickory last year. The 2008 graduate of Cal Lutheran had previously worked at the University of Southern California, where he served as the baseball operations assistant for two seasons.
Former Indians pitching coach Dave Chavarria, who had been the longest-tenured pitching instructor in the organization with 11 years of experience, did not have his contract renewed for 2012.
Surprise Rangers (RK)
Manager – Corey Ragsdale
Pitching – Oscar Marin
Pitching – TBA
Hitting – Donzell McDonald
Coach – Justin Mashore
Zach Jones (Trainer) and Wade Lamont (Strength Coach)
Corey Ragsdale, 29, will make his managerial debut this season with the rookie-level Surprise Rangers. Before the short season begins in June, Ragsdale will manage the extended spring training team in Surprise. A second-round pick of the Mets in '01, Ragsdale played the '08 season as an infielder in the Rangers' system before converting to the mound in '09. He joined Texas as an assistant coach in the Arizona League the following summer and worked in Hickory last season.
While Oscar Marin begins his second season as a pitching instructor in Arizona, the Rangers will also hire an assistant pitching coach before the season begins. Marin, who previously coached at Harvard-Westlake High School in California, Los Angeles Valley College and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, served as the pitching assistant to Ryan O'Malley in 2011.
While Justin Mashore is the only outside addition to the Rangers' Arizona coaching staff, he brings the most prior professional coaching experience. The 39-year-old worked the last nine seasons as a hitting coach in the Toronto system, including a stint with Double-A New Hampshire last year.
Dominican Rangers (DSL)
Manager – Ryley Westman
Pitching – Jose Jaimes
Pitching – Pablo Blanco
Hitting – Guillermo Mercedes
Infield – Jesus Ovalle
Bench – Alexis Infante
Outfield – Osvaldo Oliva
Eduardo Thomas (Strength Coach)
For the third consecutive season, the entire assistant coaching staff will return in the Dominican Summer League. Missouri native Ryley Westman, 27, will replace Kenny Holmberg. He served as the catching instructor in both the DSL and short-season Spokane last season. The Boca Chica-based team has taken the division crown and advanced to the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, combining for a 176-91 (.659) mark.
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