Jackson, Tenn. - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the field staff for the Generals Thursday, with Jackson getting an experienced staff in its first year as part of the organization. 2015 California League Manager of the Year J.R. House is set to manage the team, with Jason Camilli returning to Double-A as hitting coach and Major League veteran Doug Drabek serving as pitching coach. Joe Mather will join the staff as a coach.
House has known nothing but winning in his managerial career so far. In three years with the Diamondbacks, the former big league catcher has gone 213-143 (.598). House spent the last two seasons with the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide, earning California League Manager of the Year honors in 2015.
The 37-year-old played in parts of five Major League seasons with three teams (Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore) as part of a professional career spanning 12 seasons. House was drafted by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 1999 MLB Draft.
Drabek brings an impressive pedigree to West Tennessee. The righty won 155 games over 13 years in the majors, earning the National League Cy Young Award in 1990 with the Pittsburgh Pirates after going 22-6 with a 2.76 ERA. He helped the Pirates win the National League East three-straight years from 1990 to 1992. Drabek also played with the Yankees, Astros, White Sox and Orioles. This will be his eighth season in the organization and his second at the Double-A level after spending 2016 as Mobile's pitching coach.
Like Drabek, Jason Camilli served on Mobile's staff last year. He returns to Double-A as Jackson's hitting coach in 2017. This year will be his third as the hitting coach for Arizona's Double-A affiliate and his sixth with the organization overall. His coaching career began with the Montreal Expos in 2004 after nine years as a player. The Expos took the Phoenix native with the 44th overall pick in the 1994 First-Year Player Draft.
Joe Mather moves up to Jackson after spending the last two seasons managing the Rookie-level Missoula Osprey, leading the team to a Pioneer League Championship in 2015. The 34-year-old spent parts of four Major League seasons with the Cardinals, Braves and Cubs after being taken with a third-round pick by St. Louis in 2001. With the Cardinals, he played under current Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa.
In addition, Ryne Eubanks will serve as the team's athletic trainer alongside strength & conditioning coach Jeremy Fradin. Eubanks is familiar with West Tennessee, having spent time working with the Grizzlies and Redbirds prior to joining the Diamondbacks. The Arkansas graduate interned with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013 and spent last season with Double-A Mobile. Fradin spent last year with Short-Season Hillsboro, his third season with the D-backs. As a graduate student, he worked with the University of Texas football team from 2012 to 2014.
The defending Southern League Champion Jackson Generals kick off the 2017 campaign April 6 in West Tennessee against the Birmingham Barons. It will mark the beginning of a brand new affiliation with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the start of the team's 20th year at The Ballpark! For information on tickets or merchandize, contact the team by calling (731) 988.5299 or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.