Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced the hiring of Donnie Ecker as Major League Bench Coach and Offensive Coordinator. The team has also hired Josh Bonifay as Director of Player Development.
In his new role, the 35-year-old Ecker will have oversight of the Rangers' overall hitting program at both the Major and Minor League levels. The Rangers are still in the process of completing their 2021 Major League coaching staff.
Ecker has spent the past two seasons as Major League Hitting Coach for the San Francisco Giants. The National League West-champion Giants led the senior circuit in slugging (.440) and OPS (.769) in 2021, as the club's franchise-record 241 home runs ranked second in MLB to only Toronto (262). San Francisco batters set a Major League record with 18 pinch-hit home runs last season, also leading all clubs with 111 home runs that either gave the Giants a lead or tied a game. The Giants' .253 batting average in 2020-21 was the second-highest in the National League and sixth-highest in the Majors.
Ecker previously served as the Reds Assistant Hitting Coach in 2019, as well as minor league roles in the Angels (2018) and Cardinals (2015-17) organizations after beginning his coaching career at Los Altos (Calif.) High School (2011-14), his alma mater. As a player, the Rangers selected Ecker in the 22nd round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Lewis & Clark State College, and he spent two seasons in the club's minor league system (2007-08) and two years in independent ball (2009-10).
Bonifay, 43, returns to the Rangers organization, where he was the team's Major League Field Coordinator in 2017. He has spent the past three years as the Phillies' Director of Player Development and has totaled six years in various minor league roles with the Houston Astros (2011-16, 2018). As manager in the Houston system, he compiled a 191-148 (.563) record while being named his league's manager of the year in both 2013 (with Greenville in Appalachian League) and 2015 (with Quad Cities in Midwest League). He began his coaching career in the Pittsburgh organization from 2008-10.
As a player, Bonifay batted .284 over 812 minor league games spanning eight years in the Pittsburgh (1999-2005) and Houston (2006) systems. He was originally selected by the Pirates out of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in the 24th round of the 1999 MLB Draft.