DAVENPORT, IOWA - There will be an entirely new field staff for the River Bandits in 2017, as announced Tuesday by the Houston Astros and Quad Cities River Bandits. The 2017 Quad Cities field staff includes manager Russ Steinhorn, pitching coach Drew French and hitting coach Ben Rosenthal. In a change from previous seasons, the Bandits also will have a full-time developmental coach, Jason Bell.
Steinhorn is entering his fifth season with the Astros and his second as a manager. Last year, Steinhorn was the manager of the DSL Astros Blue and helped lead the club to a 42-23 record. Steinhorn joined the Astros in 2013 and spent three seasons as hitting coach at Class A Short Season Tri-City. Prior to entering the professional coaching ranks, Steinhorn spent the 2012 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Delaware State University baseball team. While at Delaware State, Steinhorn played a key role in directing the team's offensive and defensive strategies, and helped see the club to a 40-17-1 record. In 2011, Steinhorn was in charge of the outfielders and assisted the pitchers and hitters at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was also a camp coordinator, and assisted with recruiting, academic advisement, travel and scheduling.
Prior to his stint at UNCG, Steinhorn coached for two seasons (2009-10) at Delaware State. Steinhorn has also served coaching positions with the Allegany County Nitros in the New York Collegiate Baseball League and at his alma mater, Edgewater High School in Orlando, Fla. A 2008 graduate of Southeastern University, Steinhorn earned his bachelor's degree in middle grades mathematics education with a minor in religious studies. He also owns a master's degree in sports administration from Delaware State.
French is set to begin his second season with the Astros as a pitching coach and his first with Quad Cities. Last year, French joined the Astros as pitching coach at Tri-City. Prior to working for the Astros, French spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Division II Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., which followed a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Division I Florida International University. Prior to his two collegiate coaching positions, French spent four seasons at the University of Alabama, including three seasons as Director of Baseball Operations from 2009-11. During his four seasons with Alabama, the Crimson Tide made four appearances in the SEC Tournament (2008-11), four NCAA Regional appearances (2008-11) and one NCAA Super Regional appearance (2010).
French graduated from Concordia University in Austin, Texas, in 2006 with a degree in business administration and a minor in communication. While at Concordia, he pitched and played outfield, and was a three-time Academic All-Southwestern Conference selection. A native of Austin, Texas, French graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in 2002.
Ben Rosenthal is joining the Astros as hitting coach at Quad Cities. Rosenthal, who had a four-year professional playing career as a catcher, was most recently the hitting coach at Point Loma University in San Diego, Calif. Jason Bell joins the Astros from the collegiate ranks and will serve as Quad Cities' development coach. Bell played at the University of Central Missouri and has since coached at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and Heartland Community College.
Elliot Diehl returns to the Astros organization for his third season as an athletic trainer and his first at Quad Cities, having spent the last two season at Greeneville. Diehl received his bachelor of science degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training from San Diego State University in 2013, where he served as an athletic training student intern for the baseball team during the fall of 2013. Hazael Wessin returns to the Astros for his third season as a strength and conditioning coach, and his first with Quad Cities. Prior to joining the Astros, Wessin assisted the Boston Red Sox DSL operations in 2014. Wessin received his bachelor's degree in sport management from Faulkner University in 2014. He also received his associate of arts degree in liberal arts from Western Oklahoma State College in 2012, where he was also a member of the baseball team. In 2011, Wessin was part of the National Championship winning team.