The Colorado Rockies announced their Minor League staff for the 2013 season. The announcement includes the addition of the role of Development Supervisor for each Minor League team, as well as each club’s Manager.
The Development Supervisor is a leadership role that is highly responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Colorado Rockies development philosophies and practices. The Development Supervisor will be a team-builder who will create synergy among staff members so that they may generate and evaluate best practices on a daily, weekly, monthly and season-long basis. The Development Supervisors will serve as leaders in communication, so that consistency and continuity of organizational philosophies, execution, standards and expectations exist from level to level. In addition, the Development Supervisors will creatively seek out solutions to issues and challenges, so that we establish a foundation of winning with a focus on the professional and personal development of our players. The Development Supervisor will travel with their respective club.
The Development Supervisor’s for each club are: Tulsa – Duane Espy, Modesto – Fred Nelson, Asheville – Marv Foley, Tri-City – Ron Gideon, Grand Junction – Tony Diaz. Espy, Foley, Gideon and Diaz have all been reassigned to the Development Supervisor role from other positions within the organization. Espy was the Tulsa Drillers Manager for the last two years. Foley was the Rockies Minor League Catching Coordinator in 2012. Gideon was the Rockies Minor League Field Coordinator last season. Diaz was the Manager at Grand Junction, and Casper prior to the relocation, since 2007. Fred Nelson comes to the Rockies after spending 27 years in the Houston Astros organization working in a variety of roles, including as Farm Director. The Colorado Springs Development Supervisor has yet to be hired.
The organization has a new Field Manager for five of the six Minor League clubs, as only Lenn Sakata returns to manage the Modesto Nuts. The other five Minor League Managers are: Colorado Springs – Glenallen Hill, Tulsa – Kevin Riggs, Asheville – Fred Ocasio, Tri-City – Drew Saylor, Grand Junction – Anthony Sanders. Hill had been the Major League First Base Coach for the Rockies from 2007-2012. Riggs was the hitting coach at Tulsa last season and has been with the organization since 2008 working as a coach across several Minor League levels. Ocasio was the Manager at Short-Season Tri-City from 2006-2012. Saylor was the hitting coach at Rookie-Level Grand Junction in 2012. Sanders was the Hitting Coach at Short-Season Tri-City from 2007-2012.
Additional reassignments with the organization include: Bob Apodaca – Assistant Pitching Coordinator, Andy Stover – Assistant Rehabilitation Coordinator (based at Salt River Fields), Dave Schuler – Colorado Springs Pitching Coach, Dave Hajek – Colorado Springs Coach, Darryl Scott – Tulsa Pitching Coach, Dave Burba – Modesto Pitching Coach.
In addition to Fred Nelson (Modesto Development Supervisor), the Rockies hired four coaches and two coordinators that were not coaching in the organization in 2012, they are: Darin Everson (EE-ver-sun) – Tulsa Coach, Frank Gonzales – Tri-City Pitching Coach, Warren Schaeffer – Tri-City Coach, Lee Stevens – Grand Junction Coach, Mark Strittmatter – Catching Coordinator, Andy McKay – Peak Performance Coordinator.
Darin Everson (EE-ver-sun) joins the Rockies as the Tulsa Coach. Everson joins the Rockies after previously managing the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier League for two years. Everson also spent four years in the Florida Marlins organization prior to his time with the Wild Things.
Frank Gonzales joins the Rockies as the Tri-City Pitching Coach. Gonzales is a La Junta, CO native and former professional baseball player who spent the majority of his eight-year professional career in the Detroit Tigers organization. Gonzales has spent the last four years (2009-2012) as the Head Baseball Coach at Fort Collins High School. He played collegiately at Colorado State University.
Warren Schaeffer joins the Rockies in a coaching role as the Tri-City Coach. Schaeffer had spent the last six years as a Minor League player in the Rockies organization, reaching Triple-A. The Rockies selected Schaeffer in the 38th round of the 2007 draft out of Virginia Tech University.
Lee Stevens was hired to be the Grand Junction Coach. This is Stevens’ first professional coaching position, as he has spent the last five years as a varsity baseball coach at Highlands Ranch High School and a hitting instructor at Slammers Baseball facility in Centennial, CO. Stevens is a former first round draft pick of the California Angels in 1986. He played eight years in the Major Leagues with California, Texas, Montreal and Cleveland.
Mark Strittmatter returns to the organization to be the Minor League Catching Coordinator. Strittmatter previously was the Rockies Major League Bullpen Catcher for 8 years from 2003-2009. He worked as a Major League coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2011-2012.
Andy McKay joined the organization in September of 2012 as the Peak Performance Coordinator, a title previously named the Mental Skills Coach. McKay joins the Rockies after spending 13 years as the Head Baseball Coach at Sacramento City College. In addition to his coaching duties, McKay taught classes in physical education and business. McKay also coached in the Cape Cod and Northwoods summer baseball leagues.
The Rockies have also announced that two full-time Strength and Conditioning Trainer spots were added for the 2013 season at both Triple-A Colorado Springs and Double-A Tulsa. Mike Jasperson has been hired to fill the full-time spot in Colorado Springs and Brian Buck has been hired to fill the full-time spot in Tulsa. The other four Minor League clubs strength and conditioning trainers will be filled by part-time staff members.