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Field Staff

Tripp Keister, Manager | Franklin Bravo, Pitching Coach | Brian Rupp, Hitting Coach | T.D. Swinford, Head Athletic Trainer


Tripp Keister

Keister, 44, was promoted before the 2014 ledger to lead the P-Nats from his same post with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns, a club he guided to the 2013 South Atlantic League Championship Series.

Keister became the 26th manager in the history of the Potomac club last year and enters his fourth ledger as a manager in the Washington Nationals Minor League system in 2015 after spearheading the Gulf Coast League Nationals in 2012 then following his 2013 and 2014 posts with Hagerstown and Potomac, respectively.

Keister supervised a quartet of 2014 year-end Carolina League All-Stars including SS Stephen Perez, 1B Shawn Pleffner, 2B Tony Renda, and DH Oscar Tejeda.

Prior to his professional coaching experience, Keister served as Head Baseball Coach and Associate Athletic Director at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware (NCAA Div. III) from 2006 through 2011 where he earned a Conference Coach of the Year Award, and a school record 30 wins in 2007. Keister also previously made an assistant coaching stop at the University of South Carolina (NCAA Div. I) from 1996 to 1998, and held the head coaching position at Delaware State University (NCAA Div. I) from 1999 to 2000 before assuming an amateur scouting post for the San Diego Padres.

Keister was selected in the 33rd round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the New York Mets out of the University of Delaware (Newark, DE) where he was a standout outfielder.

In four Minor League seasons in the outfield, Keister collected a .403 on-base percentage courtesy of 223 walks and only 158 strikeouts in 341 games. The new P-Nats skipper played for the Short-season A Pittsfield Mets (1992), the Class-A Capital City Bombers (1993), the Class-A Advanced St. Lucie Mets (1993-1995), and the Double-A Binghamton Mets (1995).

Pitching Coach

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Franklin Bravo

Bravo, 36, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will begin his 13th season inside the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals organization.

As a 17-year-old, Bravo debuted as a pitcher in the Minors with the Gulf Coast League Pirates in 1996 and went on to have a five-year Minor League career in which he earned a (17-20) overall record while fanning 271 batters in 341.0 innings pitched.

The righthanded hurler finished his MiLB playing career with the Class-A Advanced Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League in 2000.

Bravo's previous coaching assignments have included pitching mentor duties for the Dominican Summer League Expos (2003), Short-season A Vermont Expos (2004-2005) which became the Vermont Lake Monsters (2006-2010), Short-season A Auburn Doubledays (2011), and most recently Hagerstown (2012-2013).

Bravo tutored a P-Nats pitching staff in '14 that tossed six shutouts, fanned 928 batters in 1,167.2 IP, and won the second-most games in the Carolina League.

Hitting Coach

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Brian Rupp

Rupp, 43, former Nationals skipper, who directed the P-Nats to a (64-75) mark during the 2012 season, returns to Potomac to handle hitting instruction.

A Minor League Baseball coaching veteran who spent twelve seasons at the helm as a manager in the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and Washington farm systems, witnessed Potomac hitters submit a .258 collective batting clip in 2014, good for a tie of fourth place in the circuit while Nationals sluggers lifted 82 home runs over the duration of the season, a figure that registered as third-most in the league. Rupp notably instructed Renda to a 2014 Carolina League Batting Championship (.307 batting average).

Rupp's coaching resume includes eight playoff appearances, four trips to a league final, and two league championship which came with the Class-A Burlington Bees (Kansas City) in 2008 and the Nationals in 2014.

Rupp was drafted by St. Louis in the 43rd round of the 1992 MLB Amateur Draft and spent eight seasons in the Cardinals' organization as a player reaching as high as the Triple-A level. A career .295 MiLB hitter, Rupp was the Most Valuable Player and batting champion of the rookie level Arizona League in 1992, and famously beat out future New York Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter for the South Atlantic League batting crown in 1993 for the Class-A Savannah Cardinals after donning a .320 batting average on the season.

Head Athletic Trainer

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TD Swinford

Swinford returns for his fifth season in the Washington Nationals Minor League organization, and second with Potomac. Swinford served as the Head Athletic Trainer in 2011 and 2012 with the Short-season A Auburn Doubledays and occupied the same role with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns during the 2013 campaign before his first season of tenure with the P-Nats in 2014.

Swinford provided training support for ten Major League rehabilitation players from the Washington Nationals during the 2014 season including RHP Doug Fister, OF Bryce Harper, LHP Gio Gonzalez, C Wilson Ramos, and IF/OF Ryan Zimmerman.

Prior to joining Washington's system, Swinford worked for the Baltimore Orioles Minor League chain as Head Athletic Trainer for the rookie-level Bluefield Orioles from 2007 to 2010 in addition to a stint as the Assistant Athletic Trainer/Head Strength Coach for the Class-A Advanced Frederick Keys from 2004 to 2006.

Swinford graduated from McKendree College (IL) in 2003 with a degree in Athletic Training and Physical Education.