AUGUSTA, GA - The Augusta GreenJackets, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants, have announced their 2017 Field Staff. Carlos Valderrama takes the reigns of the managerial post in his first season here with the GreenJackets.
Also joining Valderrama in the first season at Lake Olmstead Stadium will be Eddie Taubensee, Hitting Coach, and Ydwin Villegas, Coach. Returning to the staff is Pitching Coach Clay Rapada.
Valderrama, 39, managed the 2016 Dominican Summer League Giants to a 40-30 record and finished third in the Dominican Summer League South Division. He has been a hitting coach with the Giants for 6 years and as a manager for 3 years. He helped lead the DSL team to a championship in 2015. He has 12 years of playing experience and saw playing time in 7 games in 2003 with the San Francisco Giants. Overall, Valderrama has 21 years experience in pro ball, and 20 of those years with the San Francisco Giants.
"We are excited to surround our young GreenJackets players with a strong staff that has both a wealth of baseball experience and excellent leadership qualities," stated San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans. "Our staff, together with the Augusta community, is part of the building blocks that help develop and support our future big league players. We look forward to the 2017 season and what the future may have in store."
Rapada returns as Pitching Coach for his second season in Augusta. Rapada spent parts of seven seasons in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians. 2017 will be his third season in the Giants organization, second year as coach. Under Cram and Rapada's tutelage in 2016, the GreenJackets pitching staff led the South Atlantic League in fewest Home Runs Allowed (60), fourth in ERA (3.42) and finished fifth in strikeouts (1156).
Taubensee spent the majority of his professional catching career with the Cincinnati Reds from 1994-2000, he also saw action with the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians. Taubensee has 15 years of pro ball experience, with 11 of those 15 years being up in the Major Leagues. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 6th round of the 1986 amateur draft. This is Taubensee's first coaching stint with the Giants and also in MiLB.
Villegas, a former GreenJacket infielder (2010 and 2011), is returning to Augusta as coach. Villegas spent six seasons in the Giants system from 2008 - 2014. Villegas was a coach in the Giants system for the San Jose Giants in 2015 and 2016 after he finished playing.
Also returning from 2016, rounding out the field staff is Athletic Trainer Hiro Sato. Sato is in his 3rd season as a trainer with the Giants and 4th in pro ball.
"We look forward to welcoming Carlos and the staff to the CSRA in 2017," said Augusta GreenJackets General Manager Tom Denlinger. "Last year was an exciting season with the GreenJackets making it to the brink of the playoffs and we look forward to an unforgettable season at the Lake. We thank the Giants not only for their commitment to the CSRA but for providing us with a first class staff to lead the GreenJackets this coming season."
The countdown is on for GreenJackets Opening Day and the start of the 29th consecutive season of professional baseball in Augusta on Thursday, April 13th against the Columbia Fireflies (NY Mets).
All GreenJackets Ticket Plans including Full, Half, Weekend, and the all-new 6-Game Flex Plans are on sale now for the 2017 season. To guarantee your seats, order your 2017 Ticket Packages today by reaching out to the GreenJackets Front Office at (706) 922-WINS (9467).
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