WOODBRIDGE, VA. -- The Washington Nationals have announced that the 2013 coaching staff for their Class A Advanced Potomac Nationals will be led by new field manager, Brian Daubach. He will be joined by returning pitching coach, Chris Michalak (2012), and former P-Nats hitting coach, Mark Harris (2011), will return to that role. Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player development, Bob Boone, director of player development, Doug Harris, and director of minor league operations, Mark Scialabba made the joint announcement.
Brian Daubach, a native of Belleville, Ill., enters his third year with the Washington Nationals organization after two seasons managing the Hagerstown Suns of the Class A South Atlantic League. Daubach, an eight-season Major League veteran, guided Hagerstown to a 75-64 overall record in 2011 and an 82-58 mark during a 2012 season in which the Suns advanced to the SAL playoffs semifinal round. For his leadership, Daubach was chosen to skipper the SAL Northern Division All-Stars in 2011 (Salisbury, Md.) and was selected as a coach for the 2012 Midseason Classic (Charleston, S.C.).
During his Suns tenure, Daubach handled the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Bryce Harper, who began his full-season professional career in Hagerstown. In addition, Daubach's 2011 Suns were home to former No. 1 overall Draft pick (2009), right-hander Stephen Strasburg for three rehab starts, following his Tommy John surgery.
The former first baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter knows the Minor League landscape well. Daubach, who made his Major League debut in September 1998 with the Florida Marlins, worked his way through seven years in the Mets' farm system before breaking through to the big leagues.
Daubach, a member of the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, was selected in the 17th round of 1990 by the New York Mets. He enjoyed two stints with Boston from 1999-2002 and again for the Red Sox magical '04 season in which they swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic to capture their first world title since 1919, ending the 86-year-old "Curse of the Bambino." Daubach earned a reputation as an original member of the Red Sox's "Dirt Dog" bunch, who were labeled for their gritty, blue-collar work ethic.
The "Belleville Basher" was a lifetime .259 hitter in 661 games, who belted 93 home runs and collected 333 runs batted in. He is one of only five Red Sox in franchise history with at least 20 homers in each of his first four seasons (Ted Williams, Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice and Nomar Garciaparra).
His former coaching tenures also include the 2008 season, as hitting coach of the independent Can-Am League's Nashua Pride, before taking over as manager of its successor, the American Defenders of New Hampshire, in 2009. Daubach would serve an additional term as skipper of the Pittsfield Colonials (formerly the American Defenders) during the 2010 season.
The P-Nats new skipper inherits the reins of a ballclub that went (64-75) for the 2012 slate, finishing in third place in the overall Carolina League Northern Division standings. The Nationals played excellent baseball at Pfitzner Stadium, earning a 42-28 record in the friendly confines, the third best overall home record in the Carolina League.
Daubach will be joined on the Nationals' staff by a pair of fellow MiLB coaching veterans.
Chris Michalak, of Joliet, Ill., returns for his second campaign as the Nationals' pitching coach, and fourth overall in the Nationals organization as a coach. The southpaw product of the University of Notre Dame owned a career record of 10-15 in MLB, compiling an earned run average of 4.70. Michalak pitched for Arizona, Toronto, Texas and Cincinnati during his four-season Major League career.
Under Michalak in 2012, the P-Nats pitching staff posted a 4.65 ERA and held opponents to a .273 batting average, while striking out 958 batters in 1,174 innings pitched. Michalak mentored right-hander Alex Meyer, a former first-rounder, taken No. 23 overall in 2011, who was dealt this offseason to the Minnesota Twins in a package including center fielder Denard Span. He also provided instruction to right-hander Nathan Karns (12th round, 2009), the Nationals 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Michalak mentored pitchers for the Hagerstown Suns for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Mark Harris will return for his second season as Potomac Nationals hitting coach, third season with the Washington organization, and seventh season as a Minor League instructor. Harris spent four seasons in the Kansas City Royals system, from 2007-2010, as a roving hitting instructor and a Minor League infield coordinator, and was previously a scout for the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies. Under Harris in 2011, P-Nats hitters batted .252 with 227 doubles, 30 triples and 81 home runs in 139 games. Harris was the Hagerstown Suns hitting coach during their playoff season in 2012.
Harris, a former first-round MLB draft pick (No. 25 overall) of the New York Yankees in 1978 as a shortstop, played his last professional game for the Alexandria Dukes, now the Potomac Nationals, in 1980. Harris is no stranger to the Northern Va., area as he was born in Bristol, Va., and resides in Gainesville, Va.
Former P-Nats manager, Brian Rupp has been assigned to the Hagerstown Suns to serve as their hitting coach for the 2013 season.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va., and are the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. season tickets and mini plans for 2013 are on sale now. Fans can renew their season tickets at Pfitzner Stadium for only $50 per seat. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 season are also now available. If you are planning corporate outings for next season, the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. For more information, please call the ticket office at 703-590-2311, or visit the P-Nats at www.potomacnationals.com online.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.