Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Las Vegas 51s coaching staff has been decided upon.
One of the additions to the staff today was Grant Hufford, who was a part of the Houston Astros organization last year and will serve as the 51s team’s trainer in 2018.
Hufford is actually the third member of the coaching staff to come over from the Astros as Tony Defrancesco and Joel Chimelis also were coaches in their system last season.
The Astros are probably a good organization to try to model, coming off a World Series victory that was largely fueled by young players developed in their farm system.
The team also decided to add two new positions in the forms of an assistant athletic trainer and bullpen coach.
Jeremy Accardo will be taking the latter position and was a former pitcher for the team while the 51s were still a branch of the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2010.
The most notable removal is former pitching coach Frank Viola, who will now be serving in the same capacity with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, who also announced their coaching staff for the 2018 season. Glenn Abbott replaced him on the Triple-A staff.
Sandy Alderson said changes were needed to be made this off-season in the upper levels of the minor leagues, as he believed that the players were not prepared to be effective in the major leagues once they were called upon.
As a result, only one member of last year’s coaching staff, Josh Fields, will return to the team next year as the team’s strength coach.
Tony DeFrancesco will, as previously reported, be serving as the team’s manager in 2018 with the hopes of being able to prepare players better for the majors. In 2015, he was named Baseball America’s Manager of the Year for the entire minor leagues.
The Mets organization, as a whole, lacks upper-level minor league talent so they will be hoping to be able to get the best out of what options they do have for next season.