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Field Staff

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


Manager


Tripp Keister

Keister, 43, was promoted to lead the P-Nats from the same post with Hagerstown, a club he guided to the 2013 South Atlantic League Championship Series following an (80-57) regular season record.

Keister becomes the 26th manager in the history of the Potomac franchise and enters his third campaign inside the Washington Nationals Minor League system after spearheading the Gulf Coast League Nationals during the 2012 season.

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, 34, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will begin his 12th 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 oversaw a Suns pitching staff in 2013 that owned a 3.44 earned run average and held opposing hitters to an anemic .237 collective batting average. In 2013, ten members of Bravo's stable were promoted to Potomac under his tutelage.


Hitting Coach

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Brian Rupp

Rupp, 42, 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, saw the Suns turn in a collective batting clip of .258 in 2013 which ranked second best in the South Atlantic League.

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

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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Swinford returns for his fourth season in the Washington Nationals Minor League organization, and first 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.

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.