The Pittsburgh Pirates announced their 2015 minor league coaching staffs on Thursday. Lots of former Pirates players and also plenty of guys that made their living as catchers among the group of coaches named. There are also a lot of changes, though many are just moving from one team to another.
Indianapolis will be led by Dean Treanor for the fifth straight season. His hitting coach will be Butch Wynegar, while Stan Kyles takes care of the pitchers. Kyles was the pitching coach for Altoona the last two seasons. Wynegar has coached on and off in the minors since 1992, spending the last year eight seasons as the hitting coach for the Yankees AAA farm team in Scranton. He spent 13 seasons in the majors.
Altoona will be managed by Tom Prince. Kevin Riggs is the hitting coach and Justin Meccage will be the pitching coach. The entire Curve staff is new to the team this year. Meccage spent two years with State College and two years with Bradenton. Prince played seven seasons for the Pirates and has managed in their minor league system since 2004. He won a league title in the GCL in 2012 and led Bradenton to the playoffs last year.
Mike Ryan moves from West Virginia up to Bradenton to manage. His hitting coach is Ryan Long, and Scott Elarton will be his pitching coach. Elarton moves up from the GCL Pirates last year, his first season in the system. Long was the hitting coach for Altoona last year.
The West Virginia Power will be led by Brian Esposito, who will have Keoni De Renne returning as his hitting coach and Mark DiFelice as his pitching coach. Esposito managed Jamestown last year and DiFelice was his pitching coach.
The new West Virginia Black Bears(moved from Jamestown) will have Wyatt Toregas at the helm, Jonathan Prieto in charge of the hitters and Tom Filer taking care of the pitchers. Toregas was the Pirates video advance scout in 2014. He appeared in three games for the Pirates in 2011, then coached the next year in Indianapolis. Filer was the pitching coach for Indianapolis the last four years.
Bristol has Edgar Valera as the manager again, while Austin McClune makes the move from a player/coach that never played the last two years, to the team’s hitting coach. Jeff Johnson is the pitching coach. Johnson was the pitching coach for the Power the last two years. He also had the same job for Altoona in 2012 and before that he was with the Power from 2009 until 2011.
The GCL Pirates will have manager Milver Reyes, hitting coach Kory DeHaan and pitching coach Elvin Nina.
Finally, the DSL Pirates will be led by Mendy Lopez, while Osiel Flores is the hitting coach and Dan Urbina is the pitching coach. Urbina’s son Dan, pitched for Bristol last year.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
What happened to Orlando? Or was he not coaching last year?
While interesting and insightful this just shows how mundane (insert boring here) the off season can get after the signings are done (?) all I can say is c’mon spring.
Tonight and tomorrow will probably be very busy days for bigger news, this just happened to be the biggest news this afternoon. It’s the winter, we went a few days in a row last week where we would have killed for this much news
No slight intended toward you John, you and Tim are kinda like Greg Brown and Mike Lange, no matter how bad the product is you still make it interesting.It takes Quite the talent to do so really.
None taken. A lot of people recently are in that area where they just want Spring Training to start, so until it does, any news that isn’t big is just a reminder that the games are still over a month away. The funny thing is, about two weeks into Spring Training, people get sick of that and want the actual games to start. I personally love ST games because you get to see about 30 players per game early on and about 20-25 near the end and they’re always bringing different minor league players.
I to very much enjoy spring games, maybe it’s because I live in central fl. and get to see a lot of spring ball. Also before moving here I lived near norfolk va. and watched a bunch of AAA games, nothing beats a big league game but for pure hustle and heart I’ll take spring (later innings) or milb any day.
So the manager of Jamestown (short season) went to WV (Low A); the manager of WV (Low A) went to Bradenton (High A); the manager of Brandenton (High A) went to Altoona (AA). Promoting managers along with prospects is the new market inefficiency.
Interesting. I did not realize they moved managers like that.
I guess it would make sense.
So since the Indy staff is strong, where did the Altoona staff go?
I don’t think it’s typical, and it may just be coincidence. On the other hand, maybe they see value at the lower levels of the system in extending the time that a manager will typically work with a set of prospects.
Carlos Garcia (Altoona manager) got fired at the end of last year; Stan Kyles (pitching coach) moved up to Indy and Ryan Long (hitting coach) moved down to Bradenton (see the original article).