[Editor Note: We’re pleased to introduce Warren Leeman, known in these parts as Shchi Cossack, as our new weekly minor league correspondent. He’ll take over the Thursday morning affiliates column for long-time contributor Tom Diesman. Tom has taken on a new time-consuming enterprise, so is unable to write every week, but he hopes to contribute his thoughts about the Reds on occasion. We salute Tom’s long and wonderful service to Redleg Nation. His devotion to writing about the Reds affiliates was a labor of love that was greatly appreciated by our readers. At the same time, we hope you’ll welcome Warren, and we look forward to his writing from the Old Recliner.]
After adding a brand spankin’ new rookie affiliate in the Appalachian League at Greeneville in 2018, the Reds moved their AA affiliate from Pensacola to Chattanooga in the Southern League for the 2019 season. The Lookouts’ AT&T Field represents a move back to Reds Country for the AA affiliate after a 21 year association ended in 2008. I’m excited about the move and consolidating the A, AA and AAA affiliates in Reds country. I certainly won’t miss the rain from the gulf coast ballgames.
While the minor league rosters will not be set for several weeks. The minor league coaching staffs were finalized in January and February, so I thought a brief introduction to the teams and coaching staffs would make a nice launching point to the 2019 Down on the Farm. With that thought in mind, I present the top six Reds 2019 minor league affiliates and coaching staffs.
(AAA International League)
Stadium: Louisville Slugger Field
During 2018, the AAA International League pitchers averaged 26.0 years of age and hitters averaged 26.4 years of age. Pitchers produced a 3.88 ERA while hitters slashed .253/.321/.391/.712.
Manager: Jody Davis
Bench Coach: Dick Schofield
Pitching Coach: Jeff Fassero
Hitting Coach: Leon ‘Bull’ Durham
This will be Jody Davis’ 4th season in the Reds organization. Last season, Davis managed the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and served as the Bats hitting coach in 2016 and 2017.
(AA Southern League)
Stadium: AT&T Field
During 2018, the AA Southern League pitchers averaged 23.0 years of age and hitters averaged 23.9 years of age. Pitchers produced a 3.80 ERA while hitters slashed .248/.325/.378/.695.
Manager: Pat Kelly
Bench Coach: Darren Bragg
Pitching Coach: Danny Darwin
Hitting Coach: Daryle Ward
Pat Kelly has 15 seasons managing within the Reds organization and managed the Lookouts back in 1993 and 1994. Last season, Kelly managed the Louisville Bats before taking over as interim bench coach for the Reds when Riggleman was named interim manager. He managed the Pensacola Blue Wahoos from 2015-2017. The transition from the lower minor leagues to AA is considered by many as the make or break point in most players’ development. Sometimes we see the right person, in the right position, at the right time, doing the right thing. As a pitching coach, I believe Danny Darwin exemplifies such an individual and serves as a pitching development guru within the Reds organization.
(A+ Florida State League)
Stadium: Jackie Robinson Ballpark
During 2018, the A+ Florida State League pitchers averaged 22.0 years of age and hitters averaged 22.3 years of age. Pitchers produced a 3.77 ERA while hitters slashed .252/.323/.369/.692.
Manager: Ricky Gutierrez
Bench Coach: Lenny Harris
Pitching Coach: Tom Brown
Hitting Coach: Alex Pelaez
This will be Ricky Gutierrez’ 3rd season in the Reds organization, all with the Daytona Tortugas. Last season, Gutierrez managed the Tortugas and served as the Tortugas bench coach in 2017.
(A Midwest League)
Stadium: Fifth Third Field
During 2018, the A Midwest League pitchers averaged 20.8 years of age and hitters averaged 21.3 years of age. Pitchers produced a 4.79 ERA while hitters slashed .251/.325/.373/.698.
Manager: Luis Bolivar
Bench Coach: Kevin Mahar
Pitching Coach: Seth Etherton
Hitting Coach: Mike Deveaux
This will be Luis Bolivar’s 7th season in the Reds organization. Bolivar managed the Dayton Dragons for the past two seasons and served as the Dragons hitting coach from 2014-2016.
(Rookie Pioneer League)
Stadium: Dehler Park
During 2018, the Rookie Pioneer League pitchers averaged 21.3 years of age and hitters averaged 20.7 years of age. Pitchers produced a 5.08 ERA while hitters slashed .278/.351/.431/.781.
Manager: Ray Martinez
Bench Coach: Brian LaHair
Pitching Coach: Chris Booker
Hitting Coach: Darryl Brinkley
This will be Ray Martinez’ 9th season in the Reds organization and 4th season as the manager of the Billings Mustangs. Martinez managed the AZL Reds in 2015 served as the hitting coach for multiple teams from 2011-2014.
(Rookie Appalachian League)
Stadium: Pioneer Park
During 2018, the Rookie Appalachian League pitchers averaged 20.8 years of age and hitters averaged 20.3 years of age. Pitchers produced a 4.79 ERA while hitters slashed .262/.350/.397/.746.
Manager: Gookie Dawkins
Bench Coach: Reggie Williams
Pitching Coach: Derrin Ebert
Hitting Coach: Luis Terrero
This will be Gookie Dawkins’ second season as the only manager of the Greeneville Reds. Dawkins previously served as hitting coach for multiple affiliates in the Reds organization.
While the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Operations structure and on-field management have undergone a dramatic and extensive overhaul, the Reds have carefully and deliberately maintained a consistent on-field management structure within their minor league organization.