(Greensboro, NC) - The Miami Marlins announced Todd Pratt will return as the 2018 Greensboro Grasshoppers manager. Pratt will be joined by returning pitching coach Mark DiFelice, hitting coach Frank Moore and coach Angel Espada. Eric Reigelsberger will join the Grasshoppers as Athletic Trainer and Brady Fitzgerald will be the Strength and Conditioning coach.
Todd Pratt enters his second season as Manager of the Grasshoppers. In his first season as the team's manager, Pratt led Greensboro to the South Atlantic League playoffs as Northern Division Second Half Champions, finishing the season with a 75-61 record. Prior to joining the Miami Marlins Pratt spent five years as the head coach of the West Georgia Tech baseball team. He was also named the school's athletic director on November 2, 2015. Pratt was hired in 2011 as the school's first baseball coach and built the program from a club-level team that first year to its current NJCAA Division-I status.
Prior to his time at West Georgia Tech, he enjoyed a professional baseball career that spanned more than two decades. Pratt played in the 1993 and 2000 World Series and was a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves. Boston selected Pratt in the sixth round of the 1985 First-Year Player Draft, and he made his MLB debut on July 29, 1992, with Philadelphia.
Mark DiFelice returns to the Grasshoppers as pitching coach. Prior to joining the Miami Marlins, he spent three seasons with the Pirates organization. He spent the 2015 season with the West Virginia Power and the 2014 season with Jamestown. DiFelice was selected by Colorado in the 15th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, and was named an All-Star with Portland in 1998. He would go on to be named a Carolina League All-Star with Salem in 1999, a Southern League All-Star with Carolina in 2001 and a Pacific Coast League All-Star with Nashville in 2011. The right-hander made his MLB debut on May 18, 2008 with Milwaukee vs. Boston and struck out Manny Ramirez for first career strikeout. He appeared in 77 MLB games during the 2009 and 2011 seasons; he missed 2010 with a right shoulder injury.
Frank Moore returns to the Grasshoppers as hitting coach. Prior to his 2017 season with the Grasshoppers Moore has been hitting coach for Jupiter, a position he also held in 2011, following a one-year stint as the Marlins Outfield and Baserunning coordinator in 2015. He has spent nine years with the Marlins organization, also serving as hitting coach for Jamestown in 2009-10. Before being named Jamestown's hitting coach, he played with the Albuquerque Isotopes in 2007. Moore was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1998 out of Middle Georgia Junior College. He saw time with Marlins' affiliates in Jupiter, Carolina and Albuquerque from 2005-07. He resides in Douglas, Ga.
Angel Espada returns for his second straight season as a Grasshoppers coach. He managed for five seasons in the Marlins organization (2012-16) with Short-Season Jamestown and Batavia before joining Greensboro's field staff in 2017. Espada spent time with both the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets organizations as a player, including a stint as a player in the South Atlantic League with the Capital City Bombers in 1997. Following his time in organized baseball, he played in the independent Atlantic League for 10 years beginning in 1998, one of only two players to play in each of the league's first 10 seasons.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers Opening Day is set for Thursday, April 5th. Season Tickets, mini ticket plans and advertising packages are now on sale for the 2018 season. For more information, please contact the Grasshoppers office at 336.268.2255 or visit www.gsohoppers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.