PAPILLION, Neb. – Scott Thorman, who played for Omaha in 2009 and 2010, will be the manager of the Omaha Storm Chasers in 2022, the Kansas City Royals announced Friday. Thorman will be joined on the Storm Chasers coaching staff by pitching coach Dane Johnson, hitting coach Brian Buchanan, bench
PAPILLION, Neb. – Scott Thorman, who played for Omaha in 2009 and 2010, will be the manager of the Omaha Storm Chasers in 2022, the Kansas City Royals announced Friday. Thorman will be joined on the Storm Chasers coaching staff by pitching coach Dane Johnson, hitting coach Brian Buchanan, bench coach Tommy Shields, assistant hitting coach Ryan Powers, athletic trainer James Stone, and strength and conditioning coach Yannick Plante. Mike Brown returns as coordinator of clubhouse operations.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Scott back to Omaha to be our manager,” Storm Chasers Vice President/General Manager Laurie Schlender said. “His knowledge of Omaha and managerial success over the last several seasons makes him a great choice to lead our franchise on the field. We’re equally excited to have Dane, Buck, James, and Yannick return after a historic 2021 season and to welcome Tommy and Ryan to our Chasers family.”
Thorman, 40, becomes the 19th manager in franchise history and the third in the Storm Chasers era (2011-pres.). He’s the sixth former Omaha player to be named the team’s skipper, joining John Wathan, Jeff Cox, Mike Jirschele, Ron Johnson, and Brian Poldberg. Thorman succeeds Poldberg—who retired from managing following the 2021 season—as Storm Chasers manager.
The 2022 season will mark Thorman’s seventh season as a manager in the Royals’ organization and ninth year as a coach. He began his coaching career as the bench coach for rookie-level Burlington in 2014 before managing the team in 2015 and 2016. He went on to manage Single-A Lexington in 2017 and 2018 before managing Class-A Advanced Wilmington and Surprise (Arizona Fall League) in 2019. Thorman spent the 2021 season as the manager of Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Thorman has won a Minor League championship in three consecutive seasons, winning the Double-A Central title with Northwest Arkansas in 2021, the Mills Cup Championship with Wilmington in 2019, and the South Atlantic League title with Lexington in 2018. He also managed Burlington to a regular-season title in the Appalachian League in 2016. Over the course of seven seasons as a manager, Thorman has a career record of 357-309 (.536).
A Cambridge, Ontario, native, Thorman was a first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2000 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves. He participated in the Futures Game in 2003 en route to making his Major League debut with the Braves on June 18, 2006. Thorman played two seasons (175 total games) with the Braves between 2006 and 2007, batting .222 with 16 home runs. He joined the Royals organization in 2009, playing 222 games with Omaha between 2009 and 2010. In 2010, he played a team-best 125 games for Omaha in the final season at Rosenblatt Stadium while also leading the team in runs (78), hits (134), doubles (31), and RBIs (85), and ranking second on the team in home runs (22).
Johnson returns for his second season as Omaha’s pitching coach after guiding a Storm Chasers’ staff in 2021 that led the division and set a single-season franchise record for strikeouts (1,226). Now entering his 23rd season as a coach, he joined the Royals organization in 2020 after spending 2019 with the Miami Marlins organization and the previous 19 years with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he served as a minor league pitching coach (2000-2003), pitching coordinator (2004-2014), and Major League bullpen coach (2015-2018). Johnson played parts of three Major League seasons with Chicago-AL (1994), Toronto (1996), and Oakland (1997).
Buchanan returns for his fourth season as Omaha’s hitting coach. Under Buchanan in 2021, the Storm Chasers offense led Minor League Baseball and set a single-season franchise record for home runs (231) while also leading Triple-A East in runs, hits, RBIs, stolen bases, slugging percentage, and OPS. Entering his 13th season as a coach in the Royals’ organization, Buchanan’s coaching career includes managerial stops in Idaho Falls (2010-2011), Kane County (2012), Lexington (2013-2014), and Wilmington (2015). He was the hitting coach for Northwest Arkansas in 2016 and then assistant hitting coach for Kansas City in 2017 prior to his first season as a hitting coach with the Storm Chasers. Buchanan played 98 games for Omaha between 2008 and 2009 and was teammates with Thorman in 2009. He played professionally for 16 seasons, including five seasons at the Major League level.
Shields spent the 2021 season as the manager of Class-A Advanced Wilmington in the Washington Nationals organization while also serving as the Nationals’ co-Field Coordinator. He managed the Burlington Royals from 2012-2014, where Thorman served as his bench coach in 2014. Shields was the Atlanta Braves’ minor league field coordinator from 2006-2009, an infield instructor for the Braves from 2010-2011, and the Nationals’ field coordinator from 2015-2021. Shields also managed for three seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization (1996-1998) and the St. Louis Cardinals organization (2002-2004). He spent eight seasons as a professional player, including 1992 when he made his Major League debut with Baltimore.
Powers joins Thorman’s staff after working as the video intern in Quad Cities in 2021. A Wheatland, Iowa, native, Powers played collegiately at Wartburg College from 2011-2014.
Stone returns for his third season as Omaha’s athletic trainer and 11th year as a member of the Royals’ organization. He spent the previous seven seasons with Class-A Advanced Wilmington (2011-2018), where he was named the Carolina League Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2015. Prior to joining the Royals organization in 2010, he spent three seasons in the Miami Marlins’ organization, earning New York-Penn League Trainer of the Year honors in 2006. Stone has a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Cal State Northridge.
Plante returns for his second season as Omaha’s strength and conditioning coach. Plante joined the Royals’ organization in 2019 as the strength and conditioning coach for Burlington and was a staff member of the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League later that year. He has a master’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science from the University of Calgary and a bachelor’s degree in human kinetics with a specialization in biophysics from the University of Ottawa.
The Omaha Storm Chasers are scheduled to begin the 2022 season on April 5 at Indianapolis before welcoming fans to Werner Park for the home opener on April 12 vs. Louisville. The full 2022 schedule can be found here.
For more tickets and more information, please visit omahastormchasers.com, call the Werner Park Ticket office at (402) 738-5100, and follow the team on social media. You can follow the team on Twitter @omastormchasers, on Instagram @omahastormchasers, and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/omahastormchasers.