INDIANAPOLIS - The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that Brian Esposito will lead the Indianapolis Indians field staff in 2018 as the club's 61st manager in team history. Pitching coach Stan Kyles returns for a fourth season, while newcomers Ryan Long (hitting coach) and Greg Picart (assistant coach) round out the staff. Dru Scott and Alan Burr return as the team's trainer and strength and conditioning coach, respectively.
Brian Esposito - Manager
Stan Kyles - Pitching Coach
Ryan Long - Hitting Coach
Greg Picart - Assistant Coach
Dru Scott - Trainer
Alan Burr - Strength & Conditioning Coach
Esposito, 38, spent the 2017 campaign as manager for Short-Season A West Virginia, compiling a 40-35 record en route to a second-place finish in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division.
Esposito owns a 233-195 (.544) record in four seasons as a manager in Minor League Baseball. After joining the Pirates system as a player/coach in 2013 and serving as an additional coach in Indianapolis, he managed Short-Season A Jamestown to a 35-40 record in 2014. He then jumped to Single-A West Virginia for the next two seasons, the first highlighted by a club record 87 wins and .626 winning percentage, the third-best winning percentage among all full-season teams in Minor League Baseball.
Originally selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2000 MLB June Amateur Draft, Esposito logged a 13-year professional playing career that featured stints with the Boston, Anaheim, Texas, St. Louis, Colorado, Houston and Chicago (NL) organizations. He produced a slash line of .216/.254/.303, belted 38 home runs and tallied 237 RBI while throwing out 27% (204-of-766) of would-be basestealers in the minor leagues.
Along with more than 750 career minor league contests played, Esposito appeared in three major league games - one with St. Louis in 2007 and two with Houston in 2010.
He played collegiate ball at the University of Connecticut, where he was voted Team MVP in 1999.
Esposito was born Feb. 24, 1979, in Staten Island, N.Y. He currently resides in Sarasota, Fla. He assumes the position previously held by Andy Barkett.
Kyles, 56, has served as the Tribe's pitching coach since 2015 and will enter his 28th year as a minor league instructor. Last season, his staff finished fourth in the International League in ERA (3.48) and fell just 11 strikeouts shy of matching 2013's franchise record 1,153 punchouts, despite playing two fewer regular season games. He helped lead Dovydas Neverauskas, Edgar Santana and Angel Sanchez toward their major league debuts in 2017. Kyles has guided Tribe hurlers to a 3.29 ERA over his three seasons combined, the second-best mark in the IL in that span.
Long, 44, is in his 10th season with the Pittsburgh organization and 28th overall in professional baseball. He spent each of the last two seasons as Single-A West Virginia's hitting coach. He has also served as hitting coach for High-A Bradenton (2011, 2015) and Double-A Altoona (2012-14). Prior to joining the Pirates system in 2009, he was Burlington's hitting coach (Single-A, Kansas City Royals) from 2007-08 and a minor league coach for the White Sox from 2001-06. He was selected by the Royals in the second round of the 1991 MLB June Amateur Draft and later collected his first major league hit and RBI off future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson on July 18, 1997.
Picart, 32, served as assistant coach for the Eastern League champion Altoona Curve in 2017. Selected by the Pirates in the 23rd round of the 2003 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Miami-Dade College, Picart played in Pittsburgh's farm system for nine seasons (2004-12). He appeared in a total of three games for the Tribe spanning the 2011 and '12 seasons, recording his lone Triple-A base hit on April 16, 2012 vs. Toledo at Victory Field. He owned a career average of .249 in 468 minor league games.
Scott, 33, is a native of Lafayette, Ind., and lives in nearby Carmel. 2018 marks his 10th season as a trainer in the Pirates' chain and second straight with the Tribe. He has progressed through Pittsburgh's affiliates beginning with the GCL Pirates in 2009, making stops at Single-A West Virginia (2010-11), High-A Bradenton (2012-14) and Double-A Altoona (2015-16) as well. From 2007-08, he worked for Unity Sports Medicine in Lafayette before departing for professional baseball. Scott attended Manchester (Ind.) College, where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in athletic training.
Burr, 34, enters his second season with Indianapolis after sandwiching his 2014 and 2016 campaigns at Double-A Altoona around a 2015 stop with Bradenton. 2018 will mark his sixth year in the Pirates' system and 11th year as a strength and conditioning coach. Prior to entering professional baseball, Burr started his career in collegiate athletics as a grad assistant with Appalachian State in 2008, followed by Georgia Tech, Central Connecticut State and Florida International University. He is a native of Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Burr completed his undergraduate studies in exercise science at East Carolina University before earning a master's in exercise science from Appalachian State.
The Indians will open the 2018 season at home on Friday, April 6 against division-rival Columbus. Tickets for full- and half-season plans, plus mini and flex plans, are on sale now. Single-game tickets go on sale March 1, 2018.
For more on the Indianapolis Indians, visit IndyIndians.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.