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Cubs Announce 2017 Minor League Coaching Staffs

There aren’t too many changes among the coaches and managers in the system.

Principal Park in Des Moines, home of the Iowa Cubs
Dylan Heuer

The Cubs had much success not only at the big-league level in 2016, but also in their minor-league system.

Thus most of the coaches and managers from last year will be returning in 2017. All the managers return in the same spots, with some coaching shifts.

Here are all the coaching assignments for the Cubs’ farm system for next season. Many of these men will also be at spring training as instructors.

Iowa Cubs (Triple-A)

Manager: Marty Pevey
Pitching coach: Rod Nichols
Hitting coaches: Desi Wilson and Mariano Duncan

This will be Pevey’s fifth year managing at Iowa, and the second year for Nichols as pitching coach. Wilson was the hitting coach at Double-A for the last four years, and Duncan has been High-A hitting coach for the last four seasons.

Tennessee Smokies (Double-A)

Manager: Mark Johnson
Pitching coach: Terry Clark
Hitting coach: Jacob Cruz
Assistant coach: Ricardo Medina

Johnson will be in his seventh year in the organization and his second as Double-A manager. Clark also returns for his second year at Tennessee. Medina was hitting coach at South Bend in 2016, and Cruz joins the Cubs organization after spending six years as a minor-league hitting coach in the Diamondbacks organization. Cruz was a No. 1 draft pick of the Giants in 1994 and played nine major-league seasons for five teams from 1996-2005.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A)

Manager: Buddy Bailey
Pitching coach: Anderson Tavarez
Hitting coach: Guillermo Martinez
Assistant coach: Ty Wright

Bailey is in his 12th year in the organization and 2017 will be his second year as manager of the Pelicans. Tavarez will also be at Myrtle Beach for the second consecutive season after spending 2015 at South Bend. Martinez was the hitting coach at South Bend last year and moves up a level, and Wright, who played seven minor-league seasons in the Cubs organization (and appeared in quite a number of big-league spring-training games), moves up from Eugene.

South Bend Cubs (Low-A)

Manager: Jimmy Gonzalez
Pitching coach: Brian Lawrence
Hitting coach: Jeremy Farrell
Assistant coach: Jonathan Mota

Gonzalez returns for his fourth season as a manager in the organization and third at South Bend. Lawrence, who pitched six big-league seasons, moves up a level; last year he was pitching coach at South Bend. Farrell, son of Red Sox manager John Farrell, was the hitting coach at Mesa in 2016. Mota played 11 years in the Cubs system; this is his first year as a coach.

Eugene Emeralds (Short-season A)

Manager: Jesus Feliciano
Pitching coach: David Rosario
Hitting coach: Juan Cabreja
Assistant coach: Gary Van Tol

Feliciano is in his fourth year in the organization and 2017 will be his second year managing at Eugene. Rosario was pitching coach at South Bend last year and shifts to Eugene. Cabreja, in his 14th year in the organization, shifts from assistant coach at Myrtle Beach to hitting coach for the Ems. Van Tol will serve as a coach for the second straight year after spending the previous three seasons as the organization’s Low-A manager

AZL Cubs (Rookie league)

Manager: Carmelo Martinez
Pitching coach: Armando Gabino
Hitting coach: Osmin Melendez
Assistant coach: Leo Perez
Rehab coach: Ben Carhart

Martinez begins his 20th season in the Cubs organization, and returns to manage Mesa for the third straight year. Gabino joins Mesa as the club’s pitching coach following two seasons as a Dominican Summer League pitching coach for the Cubs. He pitched briefly in the major leagues in 2009 and 2010. Melendez is in his fifth season with the organization. In 2016 he was an assistant coach with Tennessee. Perez begins his ninth year as a coach in the organization and his first as Mesa’s assistant coach. Carhart is the club’s rehab coach following a five-year playing career in the Cubs system.

The following men will be coordinators in 2017:

Tim Cossins returns for his fifth season as the organization’s minor league field and catching coordinator.

Jim Brower starts his second year as the Cubs minor league pitching coordinator.

Andy Haines enters his second year as the Cubs minor league hitting coordinator.

Jose Flores returns for his fifth season as minor league infield coordinator, and his 17th year as a coach or manager.

Doug Dascenzo begins his third year as the organization’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator.

Dave Keller enters his 32nd season as a minor league coach or manager, his 14th year in the Cubs organization and his third as minor league Latin America field coordinator.

Mike Mason begins his fourth season as assistant pitching coordinator after spending the previous six years as Triple-A Iowa’s pitching coach.

Tom Beyers returns for his 18th season with the Cubs organization, and his third as the minor league assistant hitting coordinator, following two seasons as Single-A Kane County’s hitting coach.

Josh Lifrak returns for his third season with the Cubs as the club’s director, mental skills program. He is tasked with the development, implementation and supervision of the Cubs mental skills training program for all levels of the organization.

Rey Fuentes begins his fifth season with the organization and second as Latin Coordinator, Mental Skills Program, following two years as cultural programs coordinator. In this role, he oversees all educational classes and mental skills programs for the Cubs Latin American players.

Darnell McDonald begins his third season as the organization’s mental skills program coordinator, working with players throughout all levels of the farm system.

Doug Jarrow begins his 10th season as Chicago’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator.

Nick Frangella begins his 14th season with the organization and his fourth as head minor league athletic training coordinator.

Chuck Baughman enters his 17th year with the Cubs organization, his fourth season as assistant athletic training coordinator.

Ron Villone is in his sixth season as a coach in the Cubs organization, and his first as the team’s minor league rehab pitching coordinator.

Jose Alvarez is the Latin America minor league training coordinator, a new position in the organization. He is in his fourth year in the Cubs organization, having served as a trainer for the Dominican Summer League Team.