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  • 2023 Minnesota Twins Player Development Staff Announced


    Seth Stohs

    On Thursday, the Twins’ minor-league affiliates announced their managers and coaching staffs for the 2023 season. Find out who will be working with the Twins minor leaguers to help them develop and advance through the organization.

    Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily

    Days after the 2022 season came to an end, the Twins announced that their entire coaching staff would be returning in 2023. A couple of weeks later, they announced that Derek Shomon was being added to the roster as an assistant hitting coach. 

    There have been several changes throughout the system, but the managers are all the same as they were a year ago. 

    Triple-A: ST. PAUL SAINTS 
    Toby Gardenhire returns for his third season as the Saints manager. The former Twins minor leaguer is now in his eighth season in the organization. He has a 141-138 record in his two Saints seasons. 

    Cibney Bello joined the Twins organization eight years ago as a pitching coach. He has worked in the GCL, Low A, Double-A, and this is his third season with the Saints. 

    Peter Larson was the Wichita pitching coach last year and joins the Saints this year. This is his fifth season in the organization. He has been a pitching coach in Low-A and also the minor-league rehab pitching coach in his time with the Twins. He joined the Twins from Fordham, but had spent a year each at the University of Albany, Siena College, and King University (TN). He pitched at Ferrum College and graduated in 2009. He spent one season pitching in the Can-Am League. 

    Nate Spears comes to the organization from the Red Sox organization where he spent the past six years as a hitting coach. He was the High-A coach the past two seasons. He got eight at-bats with the Boston Red Sox between the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He was a teammate of Alex Hassan in 2012. He was born in Ft. Myers and went to high school in Punta Gorda. He was drafted in 2003 by the Orioles and also spent time in the Cubs, Cleveland and Phillies organizations through the 2014 season. He also spent two seasons in independent ball before retiring after the 2015 season. 

    This will be Tyler Smarslok’s second season as the Saints defensive coach. He also filled in as manager when Toby Gardenhire missed time when his wife gave birth. Smarslok joined the Twins organization before the 2020 season (or non-season) after five years of coaching in college, including 2019 in 2019. 

    Double-A: WICHITA WIND SURGE
    Ramon Borrego begins his 14th season as a manager in the Twins organization. After winning the 2018 Florida State League Championship, he moved up to Double-A and has been the Wind Surge manager that past two seasons. He signed with the Twins in 1995 and played in 405 games, all around the infield, for Twins affiliates for seven seasons. He spent part of 2002 at Triple-A Edmonton. 

    Dan Urbina is one of the pitching coaches. He starts his fifth season in the Twins organization. This is his second season in Wichita. He had previously spent 18 seasons in the Pirates organization and three more with the Dodgers. He pitched in the Dodgers organization from 1995 through 1997, reaching Double-A. 

    DJ Engle is another pitching coach. This is his third season with the organization but his first in Wichita. Last year, he coached in the Dominican Summer League. He came from McPherson College where he was the head coach. 

    The hitting coach is Shawn Schlechter. Last year, he was in Cedar Rapids, and this is his fourth season with the Twins organization. He worked in the GCL in 2021. He is a Minnesota native who joined the organization in 2020 from North Iowa Area Community College. 

    Takashi Miyoshi was the bench coach at Ft. Myers last season. This year, he’ll take that role with the Wind Surge. This is his sixth season in the Twins system. He’s worked all over including Elizabethton and time in the GCL as well. Before joining the Twins, he had been the manager of Sonoma in the independent Pacific Association. 

    HIGH-A: CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS 
    Former Twins utility man Brian Dinkelman returns for his fifth season as the Kernels manager, his eighth season with the Kernels. He was the Twins eighth round pick in 2006. In 2011, he hit .301 over 23 games with the Twins. Dinkelman has led the Kernels to the Midwest League playoffs in each of his seasons as manager and as a hitting coach. 

    The rest of his coaching staff is pretty new to the organization. Jonas Lovin joined the organization recently and he will be one of the pitching coaches. He comes from Iowa Central Community College. He pitched for four seasons at Augustana before spending 2019, his final college season, at Nebraska-Omaha. 

    The other pitching coach is former big-leaguer Carlos Hernandez. He is in his sixth year in the Twins organization. He spent the past couple of seasons with the Mighty Mussels. Hernandez made 33 starts for the Astros between 2001 and 2004. 

    Corbin Day joins the organization this year. He is an eastern Iowa native and went to Cedar Rapids Prairie High School, Kirkwood Community College, and Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids) for two seasons. 

    Former Twins catching prospect Yeison Perez is the second hitting coach. He has spent one season in the Dominican Summer League and last year in the FCL. Perez originally signed with the Mariners and spent two seasons with their DSL team. The Twins brought him on and he spent 2016 and 2017 with the Twins DSL team. In 2018, he hit .273 over 35 games with the GCL Twins. 

    LOW-A: FT. MYERS MIGHTY MUSSELS 
    Brian Meyer returns for his second season as the Mighty Mussels manager. This is his third season in the organization. Meyer was a three-year starter at second base for Otterbein College, a Division 3 school. He remained at the school and earned his Master’s Degree while working with the baseball team as a hitting coach. He went on to coach at Tulane for five years before becoming an assistant coach at Butler. He joined the Twins before the 2020 (non) season. 

    Rayden Sierra returns as the team’s hitting coach. He played at Broward College and then Cumberland University (TN) before playing for independent Schaumburg in 2019. He went on to coach at Volunteer State CC in Tennessee. Then he joined the Florida SouthWestern State College, a very new program in Florida. He joined the Twins organization in 2021 and has spent all three seasons with the Mighty Mussels. 

    Joining the team as an assistant hitting coach is Luis Reyes. He comes to the Twins after one season at Texas A&M International. Before that, he had coached at the Division II level and the junior college level. He is from Venezuela but emigrated to the Stats in 2009 to play for Iowa Lakes Community College. Then his final two seasons were at Clarke University in Dubuque. 

    Jared Gaynor returns for his second season as a Mussels’ pitching coach. He pitched two seasons at George Mason. He began coaching in 2015 at Coronado High School in Arizona. In 2016, he was hired by Arizona Christian University. In 2018, he became a coach at Richmond where he spent two years. 

    Richard Salazar has held a variety of roles in his six seasons in the organization. The last two seasons, he was a pitching coach in Cedar Rapids. He is from Venezuela, but he went to Miami Dade College and the Orioles drafted him in 2001. He pitched for 17 seasons in Baltimore’s system, in Venezuela, and then ten years in independent ball all over the country. In 2013, he pitched in the WBC for Spain. 

    Rookie League: FLORIDA COMPLEX LEAGUE TWINS 
    Seth Feldman returns for his fifth season in the organization and second as the FCL Twins manager. He was the DSL manager in 2019 and 2021. 

    The team will have three hitting coaches. They are Emilio Guerrero, Humberto Miranda, and Collin McBride. 

    There will also be four pitching coaches. They are Anders Dzurak, Calvin Maduro, Kevin Rodriguez, and Argenis Angulo who pitched for Wichita in 2022. 

    In addition, Andrew DiTullio will be the rehab hitting coach. Josh Tols will be the rehab pitching coach. They will work in the same facilities with their focus on players who are out for an extended IL stint. 

    Rookie League: DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE TWINS
    The manager of the DSL Twins will be Rafael Martinez for the second straight season. 

    Jairo Rodriguez played 10 seasons in the Twins organization and reached Triple-A in 2013. He worked with hitters in the DSL from 2017 through 2020. He then moved up to Cedar Rapids where he has been a coach the past couple of seasons. He returns to the DSL in 2023. Another former Twins minor leaguer, Ruben Santana, returns for his second season as a hitting coach. Jimmy Alvarez has been with the DSL staff since 2009. 

    Erick Julio and Jesus Sanchez will be the DSL Twins’ pitching coaches. 

    MINOR LEAGUE COORDINATORS 
    After 25 years with the Mets organization, Kevin Morgan joined the Twins as minor-league field coordinator in 2020. He spent part of the 2021 season on the big-league coaching staff. Morgan got one at-bat for the Mets in 1997. Edgar Varela was the Twins big-league hitting coach in 2020 and 2021. He is now back for his sixth season in the organization and second straight season as the coordinator of instruction. Former big leaguer Julio Borbon is back for his second year as the assistant coordinator of instruction. A former first-round pick, Borbon played in 294 games for the Rangers, Cubs and Orioles. 

    Justin Willard returns for his sixth season in the organization. This is his third season as the pitching coordinator. Before that he was a pitching coach in Cedar Rapids and in Pensacola. Nat Ballenberg is in his fourth season with the Twins organization. He shifts to assistant pitching coordinator after spending last season as the organization’s special projects pitching coordinator. 

    Bryce Berg is in his fourth season with the Twins organization and second as the minor-league hitting coordinator. In 2021, he was the Kernels hitting coach. 

    Ryan Smith was the Saints hitting coach last year. He now is the assistant hitting coordinator. In 2021, he was hitting coach in Wichita. In 2019, he held that role in Cedar Rapids. 

    Tucker Frawley will again be the infield and catching coordinator. 

    Former big-leaguer manager Mike Quade is back for his sixth season as outfield coordinator. He was the Rochester Red Wings manager from 2015 to 2017. Quade was the Cubs manager in 2010 and 2011. 

    PLAYER DEVELOPMENT STAFF 
    Vice President, and Assistant General Manager: Jeremy Zoll enters his seventh season with the Twins and fifth in this role. His focus is on the minor leagues and player development. 

    Vice President of Hitting Development and Acquisitions: Alex Hassan is back for his sixth season with the Twins. He has been the Director of Player Development the past four seasons.

    Director of Player Development: Drew MacPhail takes over this role. 

    Director of Minor League and High Performance Operations: Brian Maloney. 

    Assistant Directors of Player Development: Tommy Bergjans, Frankie Padulo. 

    Director of Player Education: Amanda Daley. 

    Assistant Director of Player Development Research: Josh Ruffin. 

    Analysts, Baseball Research: Chad Raines, Grey Wilburn.

     

     

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    Some really great people on staff.  I've been blessed with an opportunity to get to know a few of these guys.  Many of them are high character individuals.

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    3 hours ago, Parfigliano said:

    AA manger Borrego 14 years managing in one organization.  That seems like alot?  Anyone know if it?

    I'm not sure what the question is, but Ramon Borrego is very well respected in the organization. He is a good leader, but he's also a good evaluator of talent. He's a positive guy, motivational, and players want to play hard for him. He is bi-lingual, which obviously helps as well. 

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    1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

    I'm not sure what the question is, but Ramon Borrego is very well respected in the organization. He is a good leader, but he's also a good evaluator of talent. He's a positive guy, motivational, and players want to play hard for him. He is bi-lingual, which obviously helps as well. 

    The question was not meant to disparge him, put him down...anything like that?

    Just wondering  14 years.  Wow

     

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