Diamondbacks Announce 2015 Player Development Staff
By Joseph Jacquez
The Arizona Diamondbacks officially announced their 2015 player development staff yesterday, including who will manage all the Diamondbacks minor league affiliates. Here are the details via a official team press release:
” The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) named the organization’s 2015 Player Development staff, as announced by D-backs Director, Player Development Mike Bell.
The D-backs, in 2015, will be in their seventh season with the Triple-A Reno Aces, ninth season with the Double-A Mobile BayBears and Single-A Advanced Visalia Rawhide, first with Single-A Kane County Cougars, third with the Short-Season A Hillsboro Hops, 17th with the Rookie-Advanced Missoula Osprey, fifth with the Rookie Arizona League (AZL) D-backs and 20th with the Dominican Summer League (DSL) D-backs.
The D-backs return all 6 of their coordinators and 22 members of the affiliate coaching staffs from last season when they were a combined 473-365 and their .564 winning percentage was second-best behind Texas (.565). The affiliates set a franchise record with 4 full-season clubs in the postseason and tied a club mark with 5 playoff teams (also 2012). Hillsboro won the Northwest League championship while Reno and Visalia lost their respective finals in the deciding game.
Two members of last year’s staff were promoted to the Major League club. Andy Green, who won back-to-back Southern League Manager of the Year honors at Mobile in 2013-2014, will serve as the D-backs Third Base Coach. Mark Grace, who was the hitting coach for Hillsboro last season, will work as the D-backs Assistant Hitting Coach.
A pair of managers received promotions as Robby Hammock will be at the helm of Mobile (from Visalia) while J.R. House will manage Visalia (from Hillsboro). The D-backs will have 4 first-time managers in the system with Mark Grudzielanek at Kane County, Shelley Duncan at Hillsboro, Joe Mather at Missoula and Mike Benjamin at AZL D-backs. The organization is also adding an additional coaching position at Reno and a roving coach to work with the other affiliates.
Grudzielanek, 44, spent 15 years in the Major Leagues with the Montreal Expos (1995-98), Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2002), Chicago Cubs (2003-04), St. Louis Cardinals (2005) under Tony La Russa, Kansas City Royals (2006-08) and Cleveland Indians (2010). In 1,802 career games, the infielder hit .289 (2,040-for-7,052) with 391 doubles, 36 triples, 90 homers and 640 RBI.
Duncan, 35, has recently been working with his alma mater University of Arizona as an undergraduate assistant. He was with the D-backs in Spring Training last season as a non-roster invitee and finished his 7-year Major League career having played in 330 games. His father, Dave, is a D-backs Special Assistant to the General Manager & Pitching Consultant.
Mather, 32, is a Phoenix resident and attended high school at Mountain Pointe in Ahwatukee. He spent parts of 4 seasons in the Majors (2008, 2010-12), appearing in 229 career games, and played for current-D-backs Chief Baseball Officer and then-St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa in 2008 and 2010.
Benjamin, 48, played parts of 13 seasons in the Majors from 1989-2000 and 2002. He has served as an assistant coach for Arizona State University baseball since 2010. He played for the Sun Devils in 1986-87, earning First-Team All-America and All-Pac-10 honors while also helping lead the team to the College World Series in 1987. He was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 2011.”