Mariners announce 2021 player development and minor league coaching staffs

Jan 27, 2021, 10:25 AM

Mariners Kristopher Negrón...

Kristopher Negrón will manage the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate in 2021. (Getty)


After no minor league baseball season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mariners and the rest of MLB are expecting minor league games to occur during the 2021 season.

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As such, Seattle is gearing up and has announced its player development and minor league coaching staffs, with some former Mariners in key roles in the organization.

Mariners Hall of Famers Alvin Davis and Dan Wilson, as well as former Mariners All Star outfielder Mike Cameron, will all serve as special assignment coaches. Additionally, former Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutiérrez will be a special assignment coach for the first time in 2021.

Tony Arnerich is back as the Mariners’ minor league field coordinator, while Connor Dawson enters his first season as hitting coordinator, Cesar Nicolas enters his third season as Latin American field coordinator, Ari Ronick will be in his first season as coordinator of pitching strategy and rehabilitation and Max Weiner returns for his third season as pitching coordinator.

Triple-A Tacoma

In Triple-A Tacoma, the Rainiers will be led by Kristopher Negrón, a former MLB utility player who played for the Mariners in parts of the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Negrón retired after 2019 and was soon hired as a special assistant to director of player development Andy McKay. Negrón replaces Daren Brown, who managed the Rainiers from 2007 to 2013 and again in 2019. He also managed the Mariners’ Double-A team from 2016 to 2018.

Roy Howell, an 11-year MLB veteran in the 1970s and 1980s, will be the Triple-A hitting coach. Howell has been with the organization for a while now, and at one point he managed the Rainiers.

Rob Marecello is the team’s pitching coach. He was set to coach the Rainiers’ pitchers last year before the pandemic hit. He previously coached in High-A in 2019.

Former MLB player Eric Young Jr. will also be on the staff. He played MLB baseball from 2009 to 2018 and led the National League in stolen bases in 2013. His father, Eric Young Sr., played in MLB from 1992 to 2006.

Double-A Arkansas

Former MLB outfielder Collin Cowgill will manage the Double-A Arkansas Travelers.

Cowgill had actually signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners ahead of 2020 but hasn’t played in an MLB game since 2016.

Cowgill’s hitting coach is Joe Thurston, an MLB infielder from 2002 to 2011 who joined the organization last year.

The Travelers’ pitching coach is Alon Leichman. Leichman joined the Mariners in 2017 as the coordinator for organizational learning and was the High-A pitching coach in 2019. He was promoted to the Double-A coaching staff last year.

Ryan McLaughlin will also be on the coaching staff. The 23 year old officially retired last year.

High-A Everett

The Everett AquaSox, the Mariners’ longtime short-season Low-A team, will be the High-A squad in 2021 and led once again by Louis Boyd, a 2017 24th-round draft pick by Seattle. He appeared in parts of two minor league seasons for the Mariners as an infielder. He has been the manager of the AquaSox since 2019.

Former Mariners utility man Shawn O’Malley, a Tri-Cities native, will coach the High-A hitters. O’Malley was set to be the High-A hitting coach last year before the pandemic.

Sean McGrath will coach the Aquasox pitchers. He joined the organization after spending two seasons at Elon University, where he coached 2019 first-round pitcher George Kirby and 2019 eighth-round pitcher Ty Adcock.

Jose Umbria will also have a role on the coaching staff, and he’s been with the Mariners organization since 2010 in numerous roles.

Low-A Modesto

The Modesto Nuts once again will be a Mariners affiliate, this time as the organization’s Low-A team.

Eric Farris will lead the Nuts. He was the Low-A hitting coach in 2019 and was set to manage the Low-A team last season.

Farris’ hitters will be led by Ron Benjamin, who was set to be the Low-A hitting coach last year.

Nathaniel Bannister will coach pitchers, as he was to do in 2020. Bannister pitched in the Mariners organization in 2017 and 2018.

Geoff Jimenez is in his first year with the Mariners after spending 2020 with the Phillies. He previously coached at Maryville University.

Rookie Peoria

Austin Knight, who previously managed the Dominican Mariners, will be the manager for rookie ball in Peoria. He’s been with the organization since 2016.

Michael Fransoso, who joined the organization, will coach the team’s hitters.

Yoel Monzon is back with Peoria as pitching coach, a title he’s held since 2019.

Zac Livingston, who previously managed the Mariners’ rookie ball team in Arizona, will also be on the coaching staff.

Dominican Mariners

Luis Caballero, who joined the organization last year, will manage the Mariners’ Dominican summer team.

Brett Schneider, who also joined the Mariners last year, will coach hitters, which is what he was slated to do in 2020.

Jose Amancio will again coach the team’s pitchers, a job he’s held since 2018.

Also on the Dominican coaching staff are Juan Pimentel and Gaudy Jabalera.

Pimentel is in his first year with the Mariners while Jabalera is in his second.

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