A diverse and experienced group of former players, coaches and instructors will manage the six founding teams in the inaugural MLB Draft League, Major League Baseball and Prep Baseball Report announced Thursday.
Along with Jedd Gyorko's appointment to the Black Bears, Coco Crisp (Mahoning Valley Scrappers) and Jeff Manto (Trenton Thunder) represent two of the five former big league players selected to manage in the MLB Draft League.
Joining them will be Derrick May (Frederick Keys) and Delwyn Young (State College Spikes), while former professional player and veteran Minor League coach Billy Horton (Williamsport Crosscutters) rounds out the group.
Managers for the MLB Draft League, which is powered by Prep Baseball Report, were selected by MLB Draft League President Kerrick Jackson.
“We are very excited to have this group of quality managers for the MLB Draft League,” Jackson said. “Each of these men has played and/or coached at a very high level of professional baseball and will be a huge asset to every young man that will be fortunate to play in our League.
“Their involvement is also an indication as to not only the quality and direction of our League, but also the quality of instruction that each player in the League will receive on their road to the Big Leagues.”
The MLB Draft League season will consist of 68 games, 34 home and away for each club, with Opening Day on May 24. The first 42 games will be played between Opening Day and July 8, when the league breaks July 9-14 for the MLB Draft, which is to be held July 11-13. Play will resume July 15, with the championship game being played Aug. 15.
To view the full league schedule, visit www.mlb.com/mlb-draft-league/schedule
MLB Draft League participants will receive unprecedented visibility to MLB scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology, and educational programming designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes. Prep Baseball Report will provide support for the league’s staffing, player and coach recruitment, on-field operations and administrative functions. PBR will also use their media and technology platforms to promote the league and its players throughout the season.
Coco Crisp, Mahoning Valley Crosscutters
During his 15-year career in Major League Baseball, Crisp, whose actual first name is Covelli, recorded a .265 batting average with 877 runs scored and 495 extra-base hits, including 308 doubles, 57 triples and 130 home runs in 1,586 games between the Cleveland Indians (2002-05, 2016), Boston Red Sox (2006-08), Kansas City Royals (2009) and Oakland Athletics (2010-16). Crisp led the American League in stolen bases (49) in 2011, racking up 309 total steals in his career.
A veteran of 43 postseason games, Crisp was a member of the 2007 World Series Champion Red Sox and returned to the Fall Classic with the Indians in 2016. After announcing his retirement, the 41-year-old coached the Shadow Hills High School (Indio, Calif.) baseball team for two seasons before joining the Oakland Athletics’ radio broadcast team as a game analyst in 2019. He currently serves as a bench coach at Cerritos College (Norwalk, Calif.).
Billy Horton, Williamsport Crosscutters
Horton, 47, held several Minor League coaching positions in the Giants’ system from 2012-19, working exclusively with the organization’s Arizona Rookie League affiliates. Horton led the AZL Giants Orange squad to a winning record in his first year as manager in 2018, following a six-year stay on the AZL Giants’ coaching staff (2012-17) that included an AZL championship in ‘13. In 2019, Horton served as the AZL Giants Orange’s fundamentals coach.
Prior to coaching, Horton played collegiately at Spring Hill College (Mobile, Ala.) and then played for six different Independent league teams in his four-year professional career, finishing with the Cook County of the Frontier League in 1999. He participated in Spring Training with the Chicago White Sox that year and with the Los Angeles Angels in 2000.
Derrick May, Frederick Keys
May, 52, held various coaching positions in the St. Louis Cardinals organization after completing his playing career, serving on the staffs of both the Palm Beach Cardinals (2005-06) and Springfield Cardinals (2007-10) before taking over as the organization’s Minor League hitting coordinator (2011-15). In 2016, May was named assistant hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent 2017 as an instructor in the Colorado Rockies system.
Taken No. 9 overall in the 1986 Draft by the Chicago Cubs, May appeared in 797 Major League games across 10 seasons, batting .271 with 52 home runs and 310 RBI with the Cubs (1990-94), Brewers (1995), Astros (1995-96), Phillies (1997), Expos (1998) and Orioles (1999). The Newark, Del. product also played three seasons with Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League (2001-03).
Jeff Manto, Trenton Thunder
Manto, 56, was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Lakewood BlueClaws coaching staff in 2001 and led the team to a 69-70 record as manager the following year. In addition to his work as the Major League hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07) and Chicago White Sox (2012-13), Manto has also served as the Minor League hitting coordinator for both the White Sox (2008-11) and Baltimore Orioles (2013-19).
Manto played in parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues, spending time with the Cleveland Indians (1990-91, 1997-99), Philadelphia Phillies (1993), Baltimore Orioles (1995), Boston Red Sox (1996), Seattle Mariners (1996), New York Yankees (1999) and Colorado Rockies (2000) following his selection by the California Angels in the 14th round of the 1985 Draft. In 289 career games, the Temple University product recorded a .230 average while totaling 35 doubles, 31 home runs and 97 RBI.
Delwyn Young, State College Spikes
Young, 38, has deep bloodlines in baseball. His father, Delwyn Young Sr., played Minor League baseball from 1981-1994, and his uncle, Selwyn Young, also played in parts of five Minor League seasons from 1981-1995. Young’s grandfather, Fate Young, served as a Major League scout for more than four decades.
As a player, Young was twice drafted by the Atlanta Braves (31st round, 2000; 29th, 2001) but opted not to sign on both occasions, ultimately beginning his career in 2002, after the Dodgers had selected him in the fourth round. He went on to play in parts of five Major League seasons with the Dodgers (2006-08) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2009-10), compiling a .258 average with 17 home runs and 37 doubles in 344 games. After playing for Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Phillies) in 2011, Young spent the next five seasons playing for the Camden Riversharks (2012-13) and Sugar Land Skeeters (2014-16) in the Independent Atlantic League. Since completing his playing career, the Los Angeles, Calif. native held coaching positions with the Kingsport Mets (2018) and Brooklyn Cyclones (2019). He also serves as an instructor for the Skeeters.