The Royals announced their 2017 Minor League staff assignments on Friday, with many familiar faces returning to similar roles.Triple-A Omaha manager Brian Poldberg's staff remains almost intact from last season, with pitching coach Andy Hawkins, hitting coach Tommy Gregg and athletic trainer Dave Iannicca returning for 2017. Phil Falco is
The Royals announced their 2017 Minor League staff assignments on Friday, with many familiar faces returning to similar roles.
Triple-A Omaha manager Brian Poldberg's staff remains almost intact from last season, with pitching coach Andy Hawkins, hitting coach Tommy Gregg and athletic trainer Dave Iannicca returning for 2017. Phil Falco is the only newcomer, joining Omaha as the strength and conditioning coach after serving in the same role at the Major League level with the Atlanta Braves for the past nine seasons.
Vance Wilson returns for his fourth season as manager for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, with Steve Luebber returning as pitching coach and Masa Koyanagi as trainer. Leon Roberts joins Wilson's staff as hitting coach after spending five seasons in the Astros organization, while strength and conditioning coach Jarret Abell joins Northwest Arkansas after serving the previous three seasons in the lower levels of the Royals' farm system.
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Jamie Quick embarks on his 45th year in professional baseball as the second-year manager for Class A Advanced Wilmington. Pitching coach Charlie Corbell, hitting coach Abraham Nunez and trainer James Stone also return, while strength and conditioning coach Will Gilmore debuts in Wilmington after working with Class A Lexington and Rookie-level Idaho Falls the previous two seasons.
Class A Lexington will have a new manager in Scott Thorman, who managed Rookie-level Burlington from 2015-16. Hitting coach Jesus Azuajie, athletic trainer Saburo Hagihara and strength and conditioning coach Jon Ervin join Thorman in making the jump to Lexington. Pitching coach Mitch Stetter returns for his second year in Lexington.
Manager Justin Gemoll and pitching coach Jeff Suppan return to Rookie-level Idaho Falls after leading the Chukars to a postseason appearance, as does trainer Justin Kemp. Damon Hollins will serve as hitting coach in his eighth year in the Royals' organization.
Omar Ramirez will begin his first year as manager for Rookie-level Burlington after serving in that role the past two years in Lexington, while Carlos Martinez will serve as Burlington's pitching coach for the sixth straight season. Andrew David will be hitting coach and Daniel Accola joins the club as trainer.
Surprise manager Darryl Kennedy returns for a third straight year after leading the Royals' Arizona League club to a division championship in 2016. Much of his staff will return for '17, including pitching coach Mark Davis, rehab pitching coach Carlos Reyes and hitting coaches Nelson Liriano and Willie Aikens.
The Dominican Royals will once again feature Victor Baez as field coordinator and Miguel Bernard as manager. The rest of the staff includes pitching coach Gustavo Martinez, hitting coaches Onil Joseph and Jose Gualdron and infield coaches Ramon Martinez and Sergio de Luna. Head trainer Alessandro Bertozzo remains with the club and will be assisted by Martin Berroa and Manuel Plaza. Jose Rosario will serve as strength and conditioning coach and will be assisted by Severino Ventura. The coaching staff also includes outfield and baserunning coach Rafael Rijo and Pedro Rosario.
Humberto Reginato will return for his fourth season as the Royals' operations manager in the Dominican Republic and will be assisted by Jason Davila. Fabio Herrera will serve as the assistant to international operations for the third straight season.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.