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2021 Field Staff

Buddy Bailey - Manager

Buddy Bailey will return to manage the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and is in his 33rd season as a minor league manager. He managed Single-A South Bend in 2019 following three campaigns as manager for Myrtle Beach from 2016-18. Bailey owns 2,140 regular season victories, and in 2017 became just the 11th minor league manager to reach the 2,000-win plateau.

During Bailey's previous three seasons with the Pelicans he recorded 216 wins, collected three half-season Southern Division Championship titles, one Southern Division Championship title, and the Carolina League Championship title in 2016. Ten former Pelicans who played under Bailey during that same 3-season stint have since gone on to make their MLB debut including David Bote and Ian Happ. Additionally, the #46 American Sign Language jersey worn by Bailey on the Pelicans' inaugural Deaf Awareness Night was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown in October of 2018 and remains on display today.

Clayton Mortensen - Pitching Coach

Clayton Morensen joins the Myrtle Beach staff for his first year as a coach in Minor League system after spending 2019 as the pitching coach for the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League. Prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season, he was slated to return to the post where the team would have defended their 2019 Pioneer League title. Morensen was drafted by St. Louis in the first round (36th) of the 2007 draft and spent five years at the major league level playing for St. Louis, Oakland, Colorado, and Boston.

Dan Puente - Hitting Coach

Puente joined the Cubs in 2020 and slated to spend the season in South Bend. Puente has been a hitting and catching instructor at Elite Baseball Training since 2012, a technology-infused baseball and softball instructional company created by the Cubs Director of Hitting Justin Stone. Puente also served as an associate scout for the Houston Astros and from 2008-12 was the Manager of Youth Baseball Initiatives for the Chicago White Sox. A former catcher, he was selected by Baltimore in the 12th round of the 2004 Draft and played two minor league seasons.

German Suncin - Athletic Trainer

Suncin enters his fourth season as a trainer in the Cubs' system and his first with Myrtle Beach. The Carbondale, IL native served in the same role in both 2018 and 2019 with the Cubs' Dominican Summer League team after spending 2017 as an intern with the club in Arizona. Suncin is a graduate of Southern Illinois University.

Austin Smith - Strength Coach

Smith was hired by the Cubs in 2020 and 2021 will be his first season in Myrtle Beach. Smith holds a bachelor's degree from Liberty University and a PhD in Sport Performance and Physiology from East Tennessee State University. He previously served as a performance coach for USA Bobsled and Skeleton and has experience in biomechanics, sport performance, periodization strength and conditioning, and athlete monitoring.

George Thanopoulos - Development Coach

Thanopoulos will make his way to Myrtle Beach for the 2021 season. Thanopoulos is a graduate of Columbia University and spent two seasons with the Boise Hawks in 2016 & 2017. Along with his role with the Cubs, he also works as the Pitching Coordinator for Elite Baseball in Orange County, California.