Pitching coach Reyes, hitting coach Hollins also named to field staff; athletic trainer Keiser returns
(WHITAKER BANK BALLPARK, Lexington, Ky.) Omar Ramirez has been named manager of the Lexington Legends for the 2015 season. He will be joined by pitching coach Carlos Reyes, hitting coach Damon Hollins and bench coach Glenn Hubbard. Hubbard is back for a second season with the Legends. Mark Keiser will return to Lexington for a third season as athletic trainer.
The Legends’ parent club, the American League champion Kansas City Royals, announced field staff assignments today (Friday) for all their minor league affiliates. The Legends, who play in the South Atlantic League, are going into their third season as the Royals’ class A affiliate.
“The Royals have assigned an outstanding staff to the Legends for the 2015 season,” said Legends’ President/COO Andy Shea. “All of them have great experience in the Royals’ organization, and we’re really looking forward to working with them. Getting the field staff in place is another good sign that baseball season is fast approaching.”
Ramirez has served as the manager of the Idaho Fall Chukars, the Royals affiliate in the rookie-level Pioneer League, for the last three seasons. Idaho Falls was the league champion in 2013. Ramirez was the hitting coach at Idaho Falls in 2011, and also served as the hitting coach for Royals affiliates in Burlington, North Carolina (Appalachian League) in 2009 and Burlington, Iowa (Midwest League) in 2010.
Ramirez was an outfielder for Hill Junior College in Texas before being selected in the 31st round of the 1990 draft by the Cleveland Indians. He played eight seasons in the minor leagues with the Indians and Houston Astros, reaching the triple-A level in both organizations. He also played for parts of six seasons in the Mexican League.
Reyes is in his eighth season with the Royals organization. He has served as the minor league rehab coach and as a pitching coach for the Surprise Royals of the Arizona League. Reyes was a pitching coach in the New York Yankees organization from 2005-07.
Born in Miami, Reyes attended Florida Southern College before being signed by Atlanta in 1991. He pitched professionally for 13 seasons. Reyes reached the major leagues with Oakland in 1994 and was with the A’s through the 1997 season. He also pitched for San Diego (1998, 1999, 2000), Boston (1998), Philadelphia (2000) and Tampa Bay (2003). Reyes compiled a 20-36 record with a 4.66 ERA in 293 major league appearances.
Reyes resides in Surprise, Arizona with his wife, Annalee, and their children, Quinn, Chelsea, Taylor, Cruz and Cutter.
Hollins enters his sixth season with the Royals. He began his coaching career as the hitting coach at Burlington, North Carolina of the Appalachian League in 2010, then moved to class A Kane County of the Midwest League in 2011 and to advanced-A Wilmington of the Carolina League in 2012. He has been the hitting coach at Idaho Falls for the past two seasons.
Hollins was selected by Atlanta in the fourth round of the 1992 draft. He played in the major leagues for the Braves in 1998 and 2004, for the Dodgers in 1998 and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005 and 2006. He spent the 2007 season in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants before playing for the
Omaha Royals, Kansas City’s triple-A club, in 2008.
Hollins resides in Litchfield Park, Arizona with his wife, Patrice. They have three children, Tahari, Ameerah and Averi.
Hubbard returns as the Legends’ bench coach. Before joining the Royals organization in 2011, he spent 21 seasons as a coach in the Atlanta organization, including 12 years as the Braves’ first base coach under manager Bobby Cox. Before joining the Braves’ major league staff in 1999, Hubbard coached at Bradenton (1990), Macon (1991-92, 1994 and 1998) and Richmond (1993, 1995-97).
A 20th-round draft pick of the Braves in 1975, Hubbard played in the majors for Atlanta from 1978 to 1987. He concluded his playing career with Oakland, playing on an American League pennant winner in 1988. Hubbard was a National League All-Star in 1983. He tied a major league record for second basemen with 12 assists in a game on April 14, 1985.
He resides in Stone Mountain, Georgia with his wife, Lynn. They have three sons: Jeremy, Matthew and Daniel.
Keiser is going into his fifth year in the Kansas City system. He was the athletic trainer with Burlington (Appalachian League) in 2011 and Kane County in 2012 before moving to the Legends in 2013. Before joining the Royals, Keiser was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, while earning his Master of Science degree in athletic training. At ECU, Keiser was primarily responsible for the volleyball, cheerleading, and the men’s and women’s tennis teams. Keiser graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Ohio University in 2009.
The appointment of a strength and conditioning coach will be announced later.
Brian Buchanan, who managed the Legends for the past two seasons, was named manager of the Royals’ advanced-A affiliate, the Wilmington (Del.) Blue Rocks of the Carolina League.
The Legends open the season in Charleston, South Carolina April 9. The home opener is set for Thursday, April 16 at 7:05 p.m., when the Legends take on the West Virginia Power, an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.