The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced the 2020 field staff for the Bristol Pirates, with Stephen Morales set to lead the way as Bristol's fifth manager since becoming an affiliate of Pittsburgh in 2014.Morales was drafted as a catcher by the Florida Marlins in the 23rd round of the 1996 MLB
The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced the 2020 field staff for the Bristol Pirates, with Stephen Morales set to lead the way as Bristol's fifth manager since becoming an affiliate of Pittsburgh in 2014.
Morales was drafted as a catcher by the Florida Marlins in the 23rd round of the 1996 MLB Draft out of Pedro Parea Fajardo High School in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He played for nine seasons with the Marlins, Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres systems, hitting 29 home runs with 138 RBI and 109 runs over his career. Morales went on to play eight more seasons in the Puerto Rico Winter League and the independent Central League and American Association. In 2019, Morales served as manager of the DSL Pirates 1, which finished in fourth place in the Dominican Summer League North Division with a 34-36 record.
Joining Morales on the field in Bristol for 2020 will be hitting coach Ty Wright, pitching coach Fernando Nieve, coach Dee Brown, athletic trainer Casey Lee and strength and conditioning coach Brendan Fitzgerald.
Wright returned to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans as their hitting coach last year for his third straight season, as the Pelicans finished second in the Carolina League with 499 walks while their 1,093 team strikeouts were fourth-fewest in the league. Wright was a seventh round pick by the Chicago Cubs in the 2007 MLB Draft and spent seven seasons in the Cubs system. In 2009, Wright led the Tennessee Smokies with 58 RBI and 182 total bases, as he would go on to finish his career with a .292 average, 60 home runs and 381 RBI.
Nieve was the pitching coach for the GCL Pirates in 2019, as he helped guide the pitching staff to a ninth-place finish in the league with 419 strikeouts. Nieve made his professional debut in 2001 with the Martinsville Astros in the Appalachian League, finishing the season with a 4-2 record, 3.79 ERA and a team-leading 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings. In 2006, he made his major league debut with the Houston Astros and would go on to spend four seasons in the majors between the Astros and the New York Mets, compiling an 8-11 record with 143 strikeouts over 185 2/3 career innings.
Brown was selected by the Kansas City Royals as the 14th overall draft pick in the 1996 MLB Draft and would go on to make his major league debut with Kansas City in 1998. Over seven seasons in Kansas City, Brown hit .234 with 14 home runs and 89 RBI before signing with the Saitama Seibu Lions in 2010 where he hit .230 with 21 home runs and 81 RBI over two seasons. Brown has recently been working with travel baseball and softball teams around Memphis, Tennessee as a trainer and coach.
Lee will join Bristol after working as an athletic training intern with the GCL Pirates in 2019. Prior to that, Lee was a student athletic trainer at Villanova University, Ursinus College and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Purdue University in 2017 with a degree in movement and sports science before earning his master's degree in athletic training in 2019 from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Fitzgerald has spent the last two years as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant and then as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Akron. He graduated from the University of Akron in 2016 with a degree in kinesiology and exercise science, and he earned his master's degree in sports administration from Akron in 2019.