Royals announce 2023 Minor League coaching staffs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals announced today their minor league coaching staffs.
OMAHA STORM CHASERS (AAA)
Mike Jirschele will spend his 32nd season with the Royals organization as the Manager of the Storm Chasers, reclaiming the helm he held from 1995-97 and 2003-13, after spending the 2022 season as the Bench Coach of the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He will begin the season with a 995-1018 (.494 winning percentage) managerial record in Omaha (1,208-1,134 overall), just 5 wins shy of reaching 1,000 for his career with the affiliate. Jirschele will be joined by Pitching Coach Dane Johnson, who was named to the position prior to the 2020 season and will work his 24th season as a coach, and Hitting Coach Bijan Rademacher (RAH-de-mock-err), who joins the organization after spending 2 seasons as a Minor League Coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chris Nelson will join the Storm Chasers for his 6th season with the Royals after spending the 2022 season as the Assistant Hitting Coach with Low-A Columbia. Yannick Plante will return for his 3rd season as the Storm Chasers Strength & Conditioning Coach and James Stone is in his 5th season as their Athletic Trainer. Mike Brown will serve as the Coordinator of Clubhouse Operations for the 5th consecutive season.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS (AA)
After re-joining the Royals as the Omaha Bench Coach in 2022, Tommy Shields will lead the Naturals as their Manager this season, in what will be his 28th season of professional coaching. The 2023 season will mark his first managerial assignment since spending 2012-14 in Burlington as the Manager/Special Assignment Scout. Shields will be joined by Pitching Coach Larry Carter, who most recently served as the Royals Major League Bullpen Coach from 2020-22 and will work his 29th season as a coach. Andy LaRoche will make the jump to Hitting Coach in Northwest Arkansas after spending the past 2 seasons in the same role with Quad Cities. Christian Colón will begin his 2nd season back with the organization as the Naturals Bench Coach after serving as the Assistant Hitting Coach last year. Kevin Kuntz joins the Naturals staff as their Assistant Coach after working in the same role with Quad Cities in 2022. CJ Mikkelsen will return for his 3rd season as the Naturals Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Danny Accola will work his 8th season with the Royals and 2nd as the Athletic Trainer in Northwest Arkansas. Danny Helmer will celebrate his 25th season in the organization while working his 3rd as the Naturals Coordinator of Clubhouse Operations.
QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS (A+)
For the 2nd consecutive season, Brooks Conrad will manage the River Bandits in what will be his 7th season as a coach. Derrick Lewis will join Conrad’s staff as the Pitching Coach after spending the past 2 seasons in the same role with Northwest Arkansas. Ryan Powers will serve as the Hitting Coach after working in Omaha in 2022 as the Assistant Hitting Coach and in Quad Cities in 2021 as a Video Intern. David Noworyta will transition to the role of Bench Coach after spending last season as the Assistant Hitting Coach for the River Bandits. Brad Groleau will serve his 5th season with the Royals and 2nd as the Athletic Trainer in Quad Cities. Joe Pedulla will work his 1st season as the Strength & Conditioning Coach in Quad Cities after working in the same capacity in Columbia in 2022. Matt Resar will spend his 11th season with the Royals as the Coordinator of Clubhouse Operations for Quad Cities, a role he’s been in since 2021.
Tony Peña Jr. will return for his 2nd consecutive season as the Manager of the Columbia Fireflies, and he will be joined by Pitching Coach John Habyan (2nd consecutive season, 4th with Royals) and Bench Coach Matt Schmidt, who began his coaching career last year as the Assistant Coach in Surprise. Peña Jr. will also be accompanied by new Hitting Coach Ari Adut, who joins the Royals after spending last year as the Hitting Coach for the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, the High-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Adut began his professional coaching career with the Yankees in 2020 as the Hitting Coach for the Dominican Summer League Yankees. Nevan Dominguez returns for his 2nd season in Columbia as the Athletic Trainer, while Christian Andreas returns for his 3rd year as the Coordinator of Clubhouse Operations. Ted Elsner will work his 2nd season with the Royals as the Strength & Conditioning Coach, 1st with Columbia after working in Surprise in 2022.
ARIZONA COMPLEX LEAGUE ROYALS (R)
Jesus Azuaje will transition to Surprise as their new Manager after spending the last 2 seasons as Columbia’s Hitting Coach. Azuaje last managed from 2010-11 when he led the AZL Mariners clubs prior to being hired by Kansas City in 2015. Azuaje will be joined by Co-Pitching Coaches Julio Pimentel (5th year with club), Jesús Delgado, who joins the organization after spending the last 7 seasons with the Texas Rangers organization and Mark Davis, in what will be his 18th season with the club. Andre David will begin his 26th season with the Royals organization, working as the Bench Coach for the 2nd consecutive year. Ramon Castro is entering his 6th season with the Royals and 3rd as the Surprise Hitting Coach, and he’ll be joined by Assistant Hitting Coach Alejandro Gomez, who will work his 1st season as a coach after spending last year with California State University Northridge Baseball as a Director of Player Development, and 2021 as a Sports Science Intern with the San Diego Padres. Miguel Bernard will remain with Surprise for another season as the Assistant Coach. Kazuma Fukuzumi (6th year with the Royals) and Jeremy Goldklang (2nd year with the Royals) will tag-team the Athletic Trainer duties while Todd Jansen returns for his 21st season in the organization, and 5th as the Coordinator of Clubhouse Operations in Surprise.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE ROYALS (R)
The Royals will field two teams in the Dominican Summer League again this year, and they will be led by Ramón Martínez and Sergio De Luna. Martínez is entering his 17th season with the Dominican Royals and 7th as Manager (2013, 2018-22) in what will be his 20th overall season with the Royals. De Luna is beginning his 15th season with the Dominican Royals and 4th consecutive as Manager. José Veras will return for his 4th season as a Pitching Coach while the Royals hired Christopher Marte as the Pitching Coach for the other squad after a 4-year minor league pitching career that began with the Royals in 2016. Wilson Betemit Sr. and Fernando Martínez will serve as the Hitting Coaches. Betemit will serve his 6th season in his current role and Martínez is in his 4th season with the Royals and 2nd in this role. They will be aided by Joel Rivera, who joins the Royals as the Assistant Hitting Coach after spending last season as the Assistant to Dominican Operations. Quilvio Veras Sr. (10th season with Kansas City, 2008-11, 2018-22) and Onil Joseph (15th season with Kansas City) will also return as 2nd-year Bench Coaches. Jesus Atencio will serve his 4th season in the DSL as an Assistant Coach. David Archer (3rd season with club), Alessandro Bertozzo (7th season), Martin Berroa (11th season) and Manuel Plaza (12th season) will be the Athletic Trainers for the two clubs, while Marcos Sierra (5th season) and José Rosario (10th season with the club, 2012-20 and 4th in current role, 2018-20) will be the Strength & Conditioning Coaches.