ROUND ROCK, Texas - The 2018 Round Rock Express coaching staff will feature a pair of new faces alongside several familiar ones. The Texas Rangers announced their minor league coaching staffs on Thursday afternoon with E-Train Manager Jason Wood returning for his fourth season at the helm.
Howard Johnson was named the Express hitting coach after two successful seasons managing the High-A High Desert Mavericks and Down East Wood Ducks, replacing former Express hitting coach Jim Presley. Former Frisco RoughRiders pitching coach Brian Shouse also joins the E-Train in the same role. Former Round Rock hitting coach Greg Hibbard transitioned to the RoughRiders staff. Returning from the 2017 staff are Bench Coach Geno Petralli, Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric McMahon and Trainer Carlos Olivas.
Johnson led the Mavericks to a California League championship in 2016 before overseeing the organization's move to Down East. His success carried over into 2017 as the Wood Ducks were crowned co-champions of the Carolina League after a Hurricane Irma-shortened postseason. The Florida native was named the 2016 California League manager of the year after guiding High Desert to a league-best 82 wins.
Johnson played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, appearing with the Detroit Tigers (1982-1984), New York Mets (1985-1993), Colorado Rockies (1994) and Chicago Cubs (1995). The two-time All-Star third baseman also served as the Seattle Mariners hitting coach after spending 11 seasons within the Mets organization, including three seasons as the team's major league hitting coach.
Shouse joins the Round Rock staff after spending two seasons with the RoughRiders. The Illinois native has spent six seasons within the Rangers organization, working with the AZL Rangers from 2012-2015. Shouse appeared in 467 Major League games during a 17-year career.
He spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1993), Boston Red Sox (1998), Kansas City Royals (2002), Texas Rangers (2003-2006), Milwaukee Brewers (2006-2008) and Tampa Bay Rays (2009). He retired from playing following the 2009 season, in which he appeared for the Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League at age 40.
Wood returns for his fourth season managing the Express after compiling a 215-210 record in his first three years. The 47-year-old is entering his eighth season managing within the Rangers organization, having led five of his seven previous teams to the postseason. Petralli, a former catcher for the Rangers, enters his fourth year as a coach for the Express.
McMahon returns for his 10th season within the Rangers organization, having captured "Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year" honors in 2012, 2014 and 2015 with the RoughRiders. Olivas also ventures into his 10th season within the Texas system and third as athletic trainer for the Express.
The Express open the 2018 season on Thursday, April 5 with a five-game series against the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) at Dell Diamond. Season memberships and flex plan ticket packages are on sale now.
For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter