Hickory, NC - The Texas Rangers, Major League parent club of the Hickory Crawdads, have announced the 2016 coaching staff for the 'Dads, with new manager Spike Owen set to take the reigns of the defending South Atlantic League Champions.
Owen highlights a group of four newcomers to the Crawdads field staff, including pitching coach Jose Jaimes, fourth coach Matt Hagen, and athletic trainer Dustin Vissering. Hitting coach Francisco Matos returns to the 'Dads for his second season, while strength and conditioning coach Wade Lamont is back for his fourth year in Hickory.
The Rangers also named former Crawdads manager Corey Ragsdale as the organization's new minor league field coordinator. Ragsdale ends his time in Hickory as the winningest manager in club history, finishing with an overall record of 237-179 in addition to guiding the 'Dads to the 2015 SAL Championship.
Owen, 54, joins the Crawdads after making his managerial debut with the Class-A Advanced High Desert Mavericks in 2015, where he guided the team to a 78-62 record and a Second Half South Division title in the California League. Owen originally joined the Rangers organization in 2009 and served two seasons as minor league infield coordinator before spending four years as a member of the coaching staff at Triple-A Round Rock. Drafted by Seattle in the 1st round (6th overall selection) in the 1982 Draft, Owen went on to hit .246 with 46 home runs and 439 RBI over 1,544 big league games. In addition to almost four seasons with the Mariners (1983-86), he also spent time in the Boston (1986-88), Montreal (1989-92), New York - AL (1993) and California (1994-95) organizations before ending his playing career with the Rangers Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City in 1996.
Matos, 46, returns to Hickory for his second year as hitting coach and his second season with the Rangers organization. The Dominican Republic native spent the previous eight years as a hitting instructor in the Los Angeles Angels organization, including with Triple-A Salt Lake in 2014. The former second baseman made his major league debut with Oakland in 1994 and appeared in 14 games with the Athletics that season. He spent 16 total seasons in the minor leagues, playing in the Oakland, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Baltimore, New York - AL, Tampa Bay, and Seattle farm systems.
Jaimes, 31, will be in his first year as pitching coach for the Crawdads and his eighth full year in the Rangers organization. The former Texas farmhand began his coaching career during the 2008 campaign, when he served in a dual role as a player and pitching coach in the Arizona League. The Venezuela native would go on to spend four seasons as a pitching coach with the DSL Rangers before making his stateside debut in 2013 with the AZL Rangers and serving in the same capacity in 2014 with the Spokane Indians. Jaimes was originally signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2001 and went 12-8 with a 4.93 ERA over six seasons in the Texas farm system.
Hagen, 35, joins the Rangers organization and the Crawdads following an 11-year minor league career that included stints with Seattle, San Diego, Rockford (Frontier League), and Somerset (Atlantic League). The Colorado native was selected in the 12th round of the 2002 Draft by the Mariners following a standout career at Liberty University.
Lamont, 31, returns to the Crawdads for his fourth season as the team's strength and conditioning coach, and his fifth year overall with the Rangers. He served in the same capacity for the AZL Rangers in 2012. Lamont was selected in the 29th round of the 2007 draft by the Detroit Tigers and spent three seasons in the Tigers farm system. The Omaha, Nebraska native batted .320 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI as a junior at Flagler (FL) College prior to being drafted. His father, Gene, is currently the third base coach for the Detroit Tigers.
Vissering, 28, enters his first season as the athletic trainer for the 'Dads and his third overall with Texas. He served in the same capacity with the AZL Rangers in 2014 and for Spokane in 2015. Prior to joining the Rangers, Vissering spent the 2013 season as a minor league athletic trainer in the Kansas City organization before working as an assistant athletic trainer in the Arizona Fall League. The Illinois State graduate worked as a student athletic trainer during his time on campus, in addition to time as trainer at Normal West Community High School. Vissering was also a graduate assistant at Western Illinois University, where he obtained a M.S. of Science in Sport Management.
For more information on the Crawdads 2016 coaching staff, call the 'Dads front office at (828) 322-3000.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.