Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hudson Valley Renegades (A-) 2009 Field Staff

Hudson Valley RenegadesToday the Hudson Valley Renegades announced their on field staff for the 2009 season. This year's on field staff is highlighted by first time Manager Brady Williams along with Pitching Coach Rafael Montalvo, Bench Coaches Michael Johns and Manny Castillo and Trainer Scott Thurston.

The Renegades new skipper, Williams, got his start in professional baseball in 1999 when the Boston Red Sox drafted him in the 45th round of the June Draft. Following the draft he spent six seasons in the minors splitting time between four organizations; Red Sox (1999-2001), Twins (2002), Rays (2003) and Cubs (2004).

Following the 2004 season Williams rejoined the Rays as a Minor League coach. Since joining the Rays Minor League coaching staff he has acted as a coach for the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays (A+) in 2006, the Columbus Catfish (A) in 2007 and as a bench coach for the Vero Beach Devil Rays (A+) in 2008. Williams is the son of former Major League Manager and current Phillies Bench Coach Jimy Williams.

Rejoining the Renegades for his third consecutive season is Pitching Coach Rafael Montalvo. This is his second stint with the Renegades as he acted as the pitching coach from 2002-2004 and rejoined the team in 2007. Montalvo has coached at the professional level for the past ten years, all with the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Under Montalvo's tutelage the 2004 Renegades pitching staff recorded a 3.01 ERA, which ranked them second for the lowest team ERA in all the Minor Leagues.

Coming back for his second year with the Renegades is Bench Coach Michael Johns. Last season Johns assisted with the team's outfielders, infielders, hitters and acted as the team's first base coach. Johns will be returning to the Renegades in the same role in 2009.

Johns got his start in professional baseball in 1997 when the Colorado Rockies drafted him 19th overall in the June Draft. Johns spent two years with the Rockies Single-A teams in Asheville, N.C. and Portland, Ore. During his time in the minors he slugged five homeruns, two doubles and 36 RBI.

Johns will be joined on the bench by newcomer Manny Castillo. Castillo has been with the Rays organization for the past 12 years and during that time has held numerous coaching positions throughout the minors. He had two stints as the manager of the Rays Dominican Summer League team, 1998-2001 and 2007-2008. In 2002 he acted as a coach for the Double-A team in Orlando and then in 2003 he was reassigned to the Rookie-level team in Princeton, a position he held until 2005. Before heading back to the DSL he spent the 2006 season in Class-A Visalia.

Prior to joining the Rays Minor League coaching staff Castillo spent eight years (1989-96) as a manager or coach for the minor league affiliate of the Hiroshima Carp in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Before starting his coaching career Castillo spent 18 years in professional baseball spending his last two seasons in the Major Leagues with the Seattle Mariners (1981-82).

Taking over as trainer in his second year with the Rays organization is Scott Thurston. Thurston acted as the trainer for the Rookie-level Princeton Rays in 2008. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a dual degree in dietetics and sports exercise. In 2007 he interned with the Cleveland Indians on the team's medical staff.

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