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Fresh faces to lead TinCaps in 201111/09/2010 2:22 PM ET
By Dan Watson / Fort Wayne TinCaps
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The San Diego Padres on Monday announced an all-new coaching staff for the TinCaps in 2011. World Series champion Shawn Wooten takes the reins as manager. Pitching coach Willie Blair gets his first coaching assignment in affiliated baseball while hitting coach Korey DeHaan joins the TinCaps from the Arizona Rookie League. Athletic trainer Dan Turner was tabbed for his first full season in Fort Wayne.
"We're excited to welcome this coaching staff to Fort Wayne," TinCaps president Mike Nutter said. "Each one of the coaches has played in the major leagues and knows what it takes to get there. It'll be fun to watch them mold the players on their way to becoming San Diego Padres."
Wooten, 38, makes his managerial debut after serving as the hitting coach with Short-A Eugene last season. As a player, he was part of the Anaheim Angels' World Championship team in 2002 when he posted a .474 postseason batting average. Wooten was a career .272 hitter in a major-league career which spanned parts of six seasons with the Angels (2000-03), Phillies (2004) and Red Sox (2005). He appeared in a total of 267 major-league games as a catcher, first baseman and third baseman. Born in Glendora, Calif., he was selected by Detroit in the 18th round of the 1993 draft, then released by the Tigers in June 1995. After playing the 1996 season for Moose Jaw in the independent Prairie League, Wooten signed a free-agent contract with Anaheim in 1997 and played the entire season in the Midwest League for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Three years later, he made his major-league debut with the Angels. He spent the final three years of his playing career (2006-08) in the minor leagues with the independent St. Paul Saints, the Mets and Padres. He played his last professional game in 2008 with the Triple-A Portland Beavers, a club managed by former Fort Wayne manager and current San Diego hitting coach Randy Ready. Wooten now resides in Victoria, Minn., with his wife and daughter.
Blair, 44, makes his first foray into coaching in affiliated baseball. Last year he was the pitching coach for the Joliet (Ill.) Jackhammers of the independent Northern League. A right-handed pitcher, Blair went 60-86 in a major-league career that stretched across parts of 12 seasons with eight different teams. He pitched for the Padres in 1995 and 1996. The Kentucky native was an 11th-round pick in the 1986 draft by the Blue Jays out of Morehead State University. Blair won a career-high 16 games in 1997 with Detroit and was the final Opening Day starting pitcher in Tiger Stadium history two years later. He retired from pitching in 2001 and went into the storage business while coaching amateur youth baseball. Blair coached the junior-varsity team at Lexington Christian (Ky.) High School before joining Joliet last year. He makes his off-season home in Lexington, Ky., and is married with three children.
DeHaan, 34, joins the TinCaps after coaching the hitters for the Arizona Rookie League Padres last year. He started his coaching career in 2009 with the Chico (Calif.) Outlaws of the independent Golden League. DeHaan opened that year as the hitting coach and was promoted to the manager's post at mid-season. He played 102 games in the major leagues for San Diego between 2000 and 2002 as an outfielder. DeHaan was originally drafted by the Pirates in the seventh round in 1997. In his first full professional season (1998), he was a South Atlantic League All-Star for the Augusta Greenjackets, setting a franchise record by batting .314. He came to the Padres in the Rule 5 draft following the 1999 season and played four seasons in the organization. DeHaan finished his playing career in 2003. He was born in Pella, Iowa, and now makes his home in Chandler, Ariz., with his wife and three daughters.
Turner enters his third season as a trainer in the Padres' organization, his first in Fort Wayne. He started as an intern in San Diego in 2007 and 2008, then went to Short-A Eugene for the last two seasons. Turner filled in as the athletic trainer in Fort Wayne for a short stint in 2009. He graduated from San Diego State University in 2009 and resides in San Diego.
TinCaps 2011 coaching staff in short:
Manager Shawn Wooten
Pitching Coach Willie Blair
Born: July 16, 1976, in Pella, Iowa
College: Morningside (Iowa) College
Seasons Coaching: 2 (2011 will be his third, all as hitting coach, second with Padres)
2010 Assignment: Hitting Coach, Peoria Padres, Arizona Rookie League
Playing Background: Seventh-round selection by Pittsburgh in the 1997 draft; seven pro seasons in two organizations. Played parts of two seasons in the major leagues with the Padres (2000, '02).
Trivia: Was selected by the Padres in the 1999 Rule 5 draft, the same year LHP Johan Santana was drafted second by the Marlins and later shipped to the Minnesota Twins for the first selection of that draft, RHP Jared Camp. Camp never pitched a game in the major leagues.
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