Gil Velazquez set to lead 2022 Reno Aces coaching staff
RENO, Nev. – The Reno Aces, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, have announced the team’s coaching staff for the 2022 season. Gil Velazquez will serve as the Aces skipper, in his first season as a manager. 1990 American League Cy Young award winner Doug Drabek will serve as the
RENO, Nev. – The Reno Aces, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, have announced the team’s coaching staff for the 2022 season. Gil Velazquez will serve as the Aces skipper, in his first season as a manager. 1990 American League Cy Young award winner Doug Drabek will serve as the pitching coach, while former Aces Nick Evans and Mark Reed will be hitting coaches.
“Aces fans have been incredibly fortunate with the quality of managers and coaches we've welcomed over the years,” said Aces president Eric Edelstein. “Gil's enthusiasm is off the charts and can't wait to introduce him to our fans and community.”
Velazquez comes to Reno after spending 2021 as an infield coordinator with the Diamondbacks, a position he had held since beginning his coaching career in 2017. Prior to joining the D-backs organization, Velazquez served as an Arizona League coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015, as well as manager of the Great Lakes Loons in 2016. That Loons squad would end up winning the Midwest League title after winning two postseason elimination games on the road.
Velazquez is the second-youngest manager in Aces history, at just 42 years old on Opening Day. As a player, Velazquez was a versatile infielder and spent time in the majors with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Miami Marlins.
The Los Angeles native and 1998 draft pick played his final season in 2014 in the Mexican League.
Drabek joins the staff with one of the longest resumes in Aces history. The 1990 Cy Young winner played 13 seasons in the majors, and has been a pitching coach in the Diamondbacks organization since 2010. Last season, Drabek led the Double-A Amarillo pitching staff which included a number of starters and relievers getting called up to Reno.
Evans and Reed will both be hitting coaches in 2022, and both have experience hitting at Greater Nevada Field. After manager Blake Lalli in 2021, Reed and Evans are the second and third former Aces players to serve on the coaching staff. Evans’ final appearances came with Reno in 2014 and 2015, with the infielder appearing in 190 games over the stretch. Reed’s last games also came with Reno, in 2012. The catcher played in 22 games for the Aces, driving in four runs and scoring eight.
Last season, the duo served as hitting coaches for the Arizona Complex team. Evans was set to manage the Arizona League D-backs in 2020, after coaching in Single-A Visalia in 2019. Reed has served in a variety of roles in his nine seasons with the organization, primarily working with catchers.
The group is primed for success after the Aces finished second in the Triple-A West, West last season, and should have a talented roster of returning prospects. The season begins on April 5, with the first game at Greater Nevada Field on April 12 at 1:05 p.m. PT against the Sacramento River Cats. Full and partial-season, as well as eight-game plans are currently on sale – for more information, fans can visit RenoAces.com or call (775) 334-7000.