Woodbridge, VA-The Washington Nationals have announced the 2013 coaching staff for their Class-A Advanced Potomac Nationals will be led by new field manager, Brian Daubach, who will be joined by returning pitching coach, Chris Michalak (2012), and former P-Nats hitting coach, Mark Harris (2011), who returns to that role next season. 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.
Daubach, a native of Belleville, IL, enters his third year with the Washington Nationals organization after two seasons managing the Class-A Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League. Daubach, a former 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 semi-final round. For his leadership, Daubach was chosen to lead the SAL Northern Division All-Stars in 2011 (Salisbury, MD) and was selected as a coach for the 2012 mid-season classic (Charleston, SC).
During his Suns tenure, Daubach handled the Washington Nationals' 2010 number one overall MLB draft pick, OF Bryce Harper, who began his full-season professional career in Hagerstown, and former number one overall draft selection, RHP Stephen Strasburg during a series of rehabilitation starts on his return from Tommy John surgery in 2011.
The former first baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter is well versed in the life of the Minor League landscape. Daubach, who made his Major League debut in September of 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 former World Champion with the Boston Red Sox in 2004, was selected in the 17th round of the MLB amateur draft by the New York Mets in 1990. 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 rookies 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 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 3rd place in the overall Carolina League Northern Division Standings. The Nationals played excellent baseball at home inside the confines of Pfitzner Stadium, earning a 42-28 record in front of the familiar crowd, the 3rd best overall home record in the CAR.
Daubach will be joined on the Nationals' staff by a pair of fellow MiLB coaching veterans.
Chris Michalak of Joliet, IL, 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 1,174.0 innings pitched. He mentored RHP Alex Meyer (1st Rd., No. 23 overall, 2011), who was dealt this off-season to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for CF Denard Span, and provided instruction to RHP Nathan Karns (12th Rd., 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 MiLB 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 previously was 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 oversaw the Hagerstown Suns' sticks during a playoff season in 2012.
Harris, a former 1st 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, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Renew your season tickets at Pfitzner Stadium for only $50 per seat. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for next season as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
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