Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the coaching staffs for their top six minor league affiliates. All six will have new managers overseeing the product on the field.

Nothing is more instrumental to an organization’s long-term growth potential than a minor league system, so the responsibility of developing players will fall upon these coaches.


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Triple-A Oklahoma City:
Manager – Bill Haselman
Pitching Coach – Matt Herges
Hitting Coach – Shawn Wooten
4th Coach – Luis Matos

Double-A Tulsa:
Manager – Ryan Garko
Pitching Coach – Bill Simas
Hitting Coach – Terrmel Sledge
4th Coach – Leo Garcia

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga:
Manager – Drew Saylor
Pitching Coach – Kip Wells
Hitting Coach – Jay Gibbons
4th Coach – Rafael Ozuna

Single-A Great Lakes:
Manager – Gil Velazquez
Pitching Coach – Bobby Cuellar
Hitting Coach – John Valentin
4th Coach – Fumi Ishibashi

Rookie-advanced Ogden:
Manager – Shaun Larkin
Pitching Coach –Don Alexander
Hitting Coach – TBD
4th Coach – TBD

Rookie-level AZL Dodgers:
Manager – John Shoemaker
Pitching Coach – Greg Sabat
Hitting Coach – Aaron Bates/Robert Fick
4th Coach- TBD

That’s what the 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers minor league coaching staffs look like at this present moment in time. While some positions are still open, all the other coaches are in place to get started on this upcoming season.

It should be a good one considering how ripe with talent the Dodgers are at this juncture.

Read Full Press Release

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the coaching staffs for their top six minor league affiliates for the 2016 season.
 
All six minor league affiliates will have new field managers, with Bill Haselman at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Ryan Garko at Double-A Tulsa, Drew Saylor at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Gil Velazquez at Single-A Great Lakes, Shaun Larkin at Rookie-advanced Ogden and John Shoemaker skippering the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers.
 
Haselman will take over as Triple-A Oklahoma City manager after leading Single-A Rancho Cucamonga to a California League title in 2015. The 2016 campaign will mark Haselman’s third year in the Dodger organization and his sixth season as a minor league skipper after leading Single-A Great Lakes in 2014, the Angels’ Single-A Inland Empire in 2012-13 and the Rangers’ Single-A Bakersfield in 2010. Matt Herges will become Oklahoma City’s pitching coach, while Shawn Wooten will become the hitting coach after both had served in the same positions with Double-A Tulsa last year. Luis Matos will serve as the fourth coach for Oklahoma City after guiding Single-A Great Lakes to the Midwest League playoffs for the fourth time in franchise history (2009, 2010, 2013, 2015) as their skipper last season.
 
Garko will join the Dodger organization as Double-A Tulsa manager after 10 professional seasons as an outfielder, catcher and first baseman, including six big league seasons with the Indians (2005-09), Giants (2009) and Rangers (2010). Garko entered the coaching ranks in 2014 as an assistant coach at Stanford University, where he played college ball prior to being selected by Cleveland in the third round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Pitching Coach Bill Simas enters his first season with Tulsa and sixth season with the organization after spending 2015 in the same position with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. Former big league outfielder Terrmel Sledge joins the Dodger organization and will be Tulsa’s hitting coach following a season as the Cubs’ Single-A Eugene coach last year. Sledge, a California native, spent parts of four seasons in the majors with Montreal/Washington (2004-05) and San Diego (2006-07) after being drafted by the Mariners in the eighth round of the 1999 draft out of Long Beach State (1998-99). Leo Garcia will return for his second season as the club’s fourth coach.
 
Saylor will take over as Single-A Rancho Cucamonga manager after four years in the Rockies’ system as hitting coach for Rookie-advanced Grand Junction (2012) and Single-A Modesto (2015), and manager for Single-A Tri-City (2013-14), where his club compiled a 67-85 record (.441) in over two seasons. Former big league pitcher Kip Wells will join the Dodger organization as the club’s pitching coach following a 12-year big league career with the White Sox (1999-2001), Pittsburgh (2002-06), Texas (2006), St. Louis (2007), Colorado (2008), Kansas City (2008), Washington (2009), Cincinnati (2009) and San Diego (2012). Former Dodger Jay Gibbons will serve as the Rancho Cucamonga hitching coach after spending 2015 in the same position with Single-A Great Lakes. Rafael Ozuna will return for his second season as the club’s fourth coach.
 
After making his coaching debut last season as the fourth coach for the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers, Velazquez assumes a manager’s role for the first time in his career with Single-A Great Lakes. The Los Angeles native enjoyed a 17-year professional career as an infielder, including five big league seasons with the Red Sox (2008-09), Angels (2011) and Marlins (2012-13). Bobby Cuellar enters his second season with the Dodger organization and his first as Single-A Great Lakes’ pitching coach, after serving in the same position with Rookie-advanced Ogden last season. John Valentin will serve as the club’s hitting coach following a three-year stint as the Dodgers’ major league assistant hitting coach. Valentin, who enters his ninth season in the Dodger organization, was previously the hitting coach for Triple-A Albuquerque (2011-12) and Double-A Chattanooga (2010), and managed Double-A Chattanooga (2009) and Single-A Inland Empire (2008). Fumi Ishibashi will be Great Lakes’ fourth coach, having previously held the same position with Rookie-advanced Ogden.
 
Larkin joins the Dodger organization as the Coordinator of Skills Development and will also manage the Rookie-advanced Ogden Raptors. This comes following three seasons coaching in the Indians’ organization, including his managerial debut last year with Single-A Lake County (71-66, .518). Prior to his time in the Cleveland organization, which included stints as hitting coach at Single-A Mahoning Valley (2013) and Lake County (2014), he served as an assistant coach at several schools in his native Southern California: at his alma mater, Cal State Northridge, from 2011-12, Orange Coast College in 2010 and Newport Harbor High School in 2009. Newcomer Don Alexander will take the reins as the Raptors’ pitching coach after previously spending four seasons with Houston’s Single-A Lancaster in the same position. Alexander, 57, will enter his 25thseason as a coach in professional baseball and had spent 20 seasons in the Astros’ organization. He started his professional coaching career in the Astros’ organization at Single-A Auburn in 1990 and spent the next seven seasons in the Astros’ system, which included stints at Single-A Quad Cities, Single-A Asheville, and with the Rookie-level GCL Astros. Following his tenure with the Astros, he became the Double-A pitching instructor with the Padres’ organization from 1997-99 and then became a pitching coach in the Cincinnati system from 1999-2000.
 
After serving as Ogden’s skipper in 2015, Shoemaker will lead the AZL Dodgers as he enters his 40th season in the Dodger organization and his 23rd season as a minor league manager. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 1977 draft, Shoemaker has been with the club ever since, as a player (1977-80), manager, coach and coordinator, and, last season, he was appointed as the Dodgers’ “Captain” of Player Development. Hitting Coach Aaron Bates and Pitching Coach Greg Sabat will return for their second season with the AZL Dodgers. Robert Fick will join Bates as co-hitting coach after serving as the roving instructor for the Dodgers’ farm system last season. The Torrance, Calif., native played 10 big league seasons as a utility player with Detroit (1998-2002), Tampa Bay (2004), San Diego (2004-05) and Washington (2006-07) and was named to the American League All-Star team in 2002 with the Tigers. Last season, Fick served as the acting manager for Single-A Great Lakes from June 3-4 for two games and guided the Loons to 2-0 record.

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About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

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