Padres announce Minor League roving coordinators
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced the club's roving minor league instructors for the 2015 season. New to the Padres' staff of minor league roving instructors for the 2015 season are Special Assistant, Player Development Moises Alou, Player Development Consultant Dave Snow, Field and Hitting Coordinator Luis Ortiz, Pitching Coordinator Mark Prior, Minor League Pitching Instructor Eric Junge, Catching Coordinator Ryley Westman and Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator Tarrik Brock. Returning to San Diego's staff will be Infield Coordinator Eddie Rodriguez, Latin American Instruction Coordinator Evaristo Lantigua, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Jordan Wolf, Rehab Coordinator Ryan Bitzel and Medical Coordinator Joseph (JoJo) Tarantino. In addition, Gorman Heimueller also returns to the Padres for his second season with the organization and his first as roving pitching instructor.
Alou, 48, joins the Padres as special assistant, player development. The former outfielder also serves as general manager of Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League, a role he has held since 2009. During his tenure with Escogido, the club has won three national titles in the Dominican Republic and two Caribbean Series championships. Alou also served as general manager of the Dominican Republic team that won the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Prior to joining Escogido, he played parts of 17 Major League seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1990), Montreal Expos (1990, 1992-96), Florida Marlins (1997), Houston Astros (1998-2001), Chicago Cubs (2002-04), San Francisco Giants (2005-06) and New York Mets (2007-08). A six-time National League All-Star, he finished third in NL Most Valuable Player voting twice in 1994 with the Expos and 1998 with the Astros. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Alou comes from a prominent baseball family that includes former Major Leaguer Felipe, his father, as well as uncles Jesus and Matt and cousins Jose Sosa and Mel Rojas who currently serves as pitching coach for the Padres Dominican Republic staff. Originally signed by the Pirates as a first-round selection (second overall) out of the 1986 January amateur draft, he finished his career with a .303 average, 2,134 hits, 421 doubles, 39 triples, 332 home runs, 1,287 RBI, 1,109 runs scored and 106 stolen bases in 1,942 games played.
Snow, 64, also joins the Padres as player development consultant having spent the majority of his career in the collegiate ranks, most notably at Long Beach University where he was head coach from 1989-2001. Snow posted a 510-291-4 in 13 seasons at LBSU, guiding the 49ers to six Big West Conference titles, 11 NCAA playoff appearances and three College World Series appearances (1991, 1993, 1998). Snow was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1989, the year the LBSU team did not have a home ballpark and had to take regular infield practice on an all-dirt Pony League field, coining the nickname "Dirtbags" that season. Prior to Long Beach State, Snow served as the head coach of the Loyola Marymount baseball program from 1985-88, where he was named the NCAA co-Coach of the Year in 1986 after leading the Lions to the College World Series.
Ortiz, 44, joins the Padres as both the field and hitting coordinator after spending the last two seasons as the cultural development and lower level hitting coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. Prior to his stint with the Indians, the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native served in various roles with the Texas Rangers organization, including assistant hitting coordinator (2012), hitting instructor (2009-11) and hitting coach for the Single-A Spokane Indians (2008). The 2015 season will be his 22nd season in professional baseball, having played for 14 seasons, including four at the Major League level, for the Boston Red Sox (1991-94), Texas Rangers (1995-97), Kansas City Royals (1998), Milwaukee Brewers (1999), Arizona Diamondbacks (2000), Montreal Expos (2001-04) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004) organizations.
Prior, 34, enters his second season with the Padres organization and his first as the club's pitching coordinator, having joined the club's baseball operations department in December 2013. He pitched in five Major League seasons, all for the Chicago Cubs (2002-06), posting a 42-29 record with a 3.51 ERA. During the 2003 season, he finished third in Cy Young Award voting and was named a National League All-Star, helping the Cubs win their division that season and advance to win their first playoff series in 95 years. The right-hander also spent time with the Padres (2008-09), Texas Rangers (2010), New York Yankees (2011), Boston Red Sox (2012) and Cincinnati Reds (2013) organizations. A native of San Diego, he graduated from University of San Diego High School in 1998 where he was the 1998 CIF Player of the Year. Originally selected by the New York Yankees in the first round (43rd overall) of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, Prior did not sign and instead attended the University of Southern California where he earned 2001 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year honors as well as the 2001 Golden Spikes Player of the Year Award before being selected second overall in the 2001 Draft by the Cubs.
Junge, 38, enters his third season in the Padres organization and first as minor league pitching instructor, having served the last two seasons as an advance scout with the Major League club. A native of Rye, N.Y., he pitched professionally for 14 seasons, including parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues for the Philadelphia Phillies (2002-03) as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-2001), Phillies (2002-04), New York Mets (2005), San Diego Padres (2006), New York Yankees (2007), Los Angeles Angels (2010-11), Colorado Rockies (2012) and Atlanta Braves (2012) organizations. The right-hander also pitched in Japan in 2008 for the Orix Buffaloes, in Korea in 2009 for the Hanwha Eagles, and in Venezuela from 2009-13 for Navegantes del Magallanes before joining the Padres.
Westman, 30, joins the Padres as catching coordinator after spending the 2014 campaign as the assistant catching coordinator in the Texas Rangers organization. Prior to his most recent role, the Smithville, Mo., native served at various capacities with the Rangers' Dominican Summer League affiliate for five seasons, first as a catching coach (2009-11) and later as the manager (2012-13), leading the club to the DSL title in 2013. After graduating Cum Laude with Honors from Northwest Missouri State in 2007, Westman played a pair of seasons in the Independent Frontier League (2007-08) before starting his coaching career.
Brock, 41, joins the Padres as outfield coordinator after spending the 2014 season as the first base coach for the Houston Astros where he was also responsible for baserunning instruction. Prior to his time with Houston, the Goleta, Calif., native spent seven seasons in the Florida/Miami Marlins organization as the minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator as well as a stint as the interim first base coach with the big league club for part of the 2010 season. The former outfielder played 13 professional seasons for the Detroit Tigers (1991-96), Seattle Mariners (1997-98), Colorado Rockies (1999), Chicago Cubs (1999-2000) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-03) organizations, including part of one Major League season in 2000 for the Cubs.