Nats announce new minor league player development staff (updated)

The Nationals announced their 2022 minor league player development staff on Tuesday, with 14 new roles and more than 20 new members.

This completes the process this offseason of completely revamping the department as the Nationals focus more on the growth of their minor league players during the first year of what is hoped to be a quick rebuild.

General manager Mike Rizzo hinted at these changes coming to the organization during his press conference on the last day of the regular season.

"We are incredibly excited to announce our expanded player development staff," said director of player development De Jon Watson in a released statement. "We added 14 new roles and brought in more than 20 new staff members to the system. This group boasts a wealth of playing and coaching experience at both the minor league and major league level. The expanded resources throughout the system ensure that our players will have everything they need to develop, improve and prepare themselves for the next level."

Thumbnail image for baseballs-generic-art-nats.jpgOn the minor league coaching staffs, Matt LeCroy and Tripp Keister return to manage Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Harrisburg, respectively. Mario Lisson moves up from managing low Single-A Fredericksburg last year to high Single-A Wilmington this year. Jake Lowery will manage low Single-A Fredericksburg after leading the Florida Complex League Nationals last year. And Luis Ordaz will begin his first managerial season this year with the FCL Nationals after serving as Wilmington's hitting coach in 2021.

A new addition to all minor league coaching staffs are developmental coaches at each level: Billy McMillon at Rochester, Oscar Salazar at Harrisburg, Mark Harris - previously a hitting coach across the organization - at Wilmington, Carmelo Jaime at Fredericksburg and Destin Hood at the FCL. The Dominican Summer League Nationals will also have a new assistant pitching coach in Feliberto Sanchez.

As for the rest of the coordinators on the staff, Bob Henley and Randy Knorr stay with the Nationals in new developmental roles, as was reported in October when they were informed they will not be returning to the major league coaching staff this season. Henley is the new field coordinator and Knorr takes on the new role of the catching coordinator.

An important addition to the staff is David Longley, who takes on the newly created role of director of player development in technology and strategy. The Nationals wanted to improve their use of different technologies and sabermetrics, not just at the major league level but throughout their minor league system, as Rizzo also mentioned during his end-of-season presser.

Longley joins the Nationals after six seasons with the Padres, most recently as their assistant director of baseball operations from 2018-2021. From 2016-2018, he served as the Padres' coordinator of major league translation and baseball operations. He previously worked as an assistant in player development and scouting for the Yankees in 2015, and as a Spanish interpreter for the Dodgers in 2014. His language skills will come in handy with the Nationals' plethora of young Latin players.

Other notable names joining or rejoining the Nationals staff include Dave Jauss as the second senior advisor of player development, Joel Hanrahan as Fredericksburg's pitching coach, Joe Dillon as hitting coordinator, Coco Crisp as outfield and baserunning coordinator, José Alguacil as infield coordinator, and Bill Mueller as the newly added quality control coordinator.

Other new roles on the staff include lower level hitting and pitching coordinators, an athletic trainer, a mental skills coordinator and a nutritionist.

A full breakdown of the Nationals' new minor league player development staff can be found below and the full press release can be read here.

Update: The Nationals announced minor updates to the listing of the staff. Brandon Pentheny is the Wilmington strength and conditioning coach, while Shane Hill fills that role for the FCL Nats. Sandy Martinez maintains his title as the DSL field coordinator along with his role as manager.

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