Arlington, Texas - Today the Texas Rangers announced their Minor League Staff for the 2020 season, including the group that will lead the Wood Ducks this spring.
Down East will be Managed by, who moves up a level from Single-A Hickory, where he was the fourth coach with the Crawdads, who made it to the South Atlantic League Championship last fall. Hitting Coach Jared Goedert joins Johnson in moving up from Hickory to Down East. They join Pitching Coach Steve Mintz who has been with the Woodies since baseball returned to Kinston in 2017. Luke Teeters also returns for his second season as the Woodies Athletic Trainer. Newcomer Jon Nazarko rounds out the staff as the club's Strength and Conditioning coach.
Johnson began his time in the Texas organization last season, helping the 2019 Crawdads to a league-best .980 fielding percentage. He joined the Rangers after spending the 2018 campaign on the San Diego Padres Major League staff. His appointment to the Padres staff followed two seasons as Manager for the Gulf Coast League Nationals in the Washington farm system. He led the GCL Nationals to an East Division title and an appearance in the GCL Championship in 2017.
A switch-hitting infielder, Johnson, played professionally for 12 seasons in the Kansas City (2004-09) and Washington (2010-15) organizations. The Florida native was drafted by the Royals in the 3rd round of the 2004 out of Middleton (FL) High School, where he was named an All-American. Johnson passed up a full scholarship to the University of Texas to sign with the Royals.
Mintz, a native of North Carolina, will embark on his fourth season as the pitching coach for the Woodies. Last year he helped the club to a 50-win first half, the second most wins in a half in Carolina League history. The Wood Ducks pitching staff also finished tied for the third best ERA in MiLB for a full season team at 3.00, and tied for 6th in the minors in shutouts (18). The former major league right-hander has 17 years of experience as a minor league pitching instructor. He also gained managerial experience in the Australian Baseball League, most recently leading Auckland each of his two seasons.
Mintz joined the Texas organization prior to the 2013 campaign after 11 seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Mintz began his coaching career in 2001 with Anaheim, working as pitching coach for the organization's short season clubs following his retirement midway through the campaign. Mintz pitched professionally for 12 seasons with Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim after he was originally drafted as a catcher by the Dodgers in the 1990 Draft. He made his major league debut with the San Francisco Giants on May 18, 1995 and recorded his first career win on June 14, 1995 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Goedert enters his fifth season with the Texas organization. He spent last season as the hitting coach in Hickory, where the Crawdads led the South Atlantic League in home runs (142), OPS (.742), and SLG (.417). Goedert has previously served as the hitting coach in Spokane, and with the AZL Rangers. He joined the coaching ranks following a playing career that spanned nine seasons in the Cleveland (2006-12), Pittsburgh (2013), and Toronto (2014) organizations.
The Kansas native was selected by Cleveland in the ninth round of the 2006 Draft out of Kansas State and was named a South Atlantic League All-Star in 2007 when he led all Cleveland farmhands with 27 home runs. Goedert saw action at the Triple-A level in every season from 2010-14. Goedert was a second-team All-Big12 Conference selection at Kansas State in 2006 after hitting .337 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI as a junior. He is a 2003 graduate of Concordia (KS) High School, where he was a three-time all-league selection and two-time all-state selection. He was also a three-year letter winner in football, leading the state of Kansas in passing yards as a junior.
Teeters is in his sixth year as an athletic trainer in the Texas organization and second season with Down East. Prior to his current assignment, Teeters has been an athletic trainer at several Texas affiliates, including Hickory (2018), Spokane (2016-17), and the Dominican Summer League Rangers (2015). Prior to joining Texas, Teeters completed internships with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers in the Kansas City Royals organization (2014) and the Cincinnati Reds organization (2013). He graduated from Wilmington College in Ohio with a degree in Athletic Training.
Nazarko recently joined the Rangers after three years on the University of Rhode Island's Strength and Conditioning staff, which he joined in September of 2016. Nazarko worked with Rhode Island's baseball, men's soccer, women's basketball and swimming & diving programs. He was also an assistant with the school's football program. It was his second stint with the Rams after spending the summer of 2017 working with the Greenville Drive (Single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox).
Nazarko earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Rhode Island in 2014, and returned to the University to earn a Master's Degree in Exercise Science. While attending Rhode Island, Nazarko was a member of both the men's basketball and baseball teams. In 2014, he was the only athlete in Division I to play both sports in the same academic year.
The Wood Ducks previously announced Opening Day of the 2020 season will be on April 9, 2020. Season tickets are available now by calling 252-686-5164.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.