Hillsboro, OR (January 7, 2015) - The defending Northwest League champion Hillsboro Hops (@HillsboroHops) will be managed in 2015 by former major league outfielder Shelley Duncan. The third-year franchise's coaching staff will include 1990 N.L. Cy Young Award-winner Doug Drabek, who returns to Hillsboro for his third year as Hops pitching coach; and Javier Colina, who spent 14 years as a minor-league infielder, including parts of four years at Triple-A. Hillsboro native and former major leaguer Ben Petrick will be with the Hops for his third year as consultant. The announcements were made Wednesday by Hillsboro's parent club, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"I've heard nothing but amazing things about the team, about the organization, the city, the whole atmosphere up there," said new Hops Manager Shelley Duncan. "I'm extremely excited about getting the opportunity to manage, and to do it up in the Northwest, in the Portland area, is great. My wife Elyse and I came to Portland for the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2009, and we've loved it ever since."
Duncan played at the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Yankees in the second round in 2001. Six years later, he made his major league debut with New York, appearing in 34 games, hitting .257 with seven home runs, and going 2-for-4 in the Yankees' four-game Division Series loss to Cleveland. He spent parts of seven seasons in the major leagues-three with the Yankees (2007-09), three with Cleveland (2010-12) and one with Tampa Bay (2013), totaling 330 games. This will be his first season as manager.
While with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2009, Duncan came to Portland to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game. He also participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby, advancing to the finals.
"We look forward to adding Shelley Duncan's major-league experience and his especially his postseason experience with the Yankees to our staff," said Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher. "Doug Drabek is one of the best pitching coaches at any level, and we're really fortunate to get him back. And Javier Colina and Ben Petrick have a wealth of baseball experience and knowledge they will bring to our young players."
Drabek enters his sixth year with the Diamondbacks, and his third with Hillsboro. Last season, his championship-winning pitching staff had the lowest ERA in the Northwest League (3.64). He spent 13 seasons in the major leagues, mostly with the Pirates and Astros, going 22-6 with a 2.76 ERA in his Cy Young-winning season with the 1990 Pirates. In the postseason, Drabek was at his best, logging a 2.05 ERA in seven playoff starts.
Colina's professional playing career was spent mostly in the Rockies and White Sox organizations. He hit .271 in more than 5,000 at-bats, seeing his last action as a player in 2012. This will be his second year in the Diamondbacks organization, having spent 2014 as the hitting instructor for the D-backs' affiliate in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
Petrick, a lifelong Hillsboro resident, returns to the Hops' coaching staff for his third year. A second-round draft selection of the Colorado Rockies out of Glencoe High School in 1995, he spent parts of five seasons in the major leagues with the Rockies and Detroit Tigers.
J.R. House, the Hops' title-winning manager in 2014, has been promoted to Visalia, the D-backs' affiliate in the Advanced-A California League. Hitting coach Mark Grace has been elevated to the parent Diamondbacks' big-league staff, where he will serve as assistant hitting instructor.
The Hillsboro Hops open the 2015 season on Thursday, June 18 in Spokane. Opening Night at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro will be Tuesday, June 23 against South Division-rival Salem-Keizer. Season tickets, mini-plans and flex plans are now available at www.hillsborohops.com, or by calling 503-640-0887.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.