The 2019 Fort Wayne TinCaps coaching staff has been named and it is full of familiar faces.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps announced their coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 season and if you liked what you saw in 2018, you’re going to love how the staff looks for this year.
In fact, nothing has changed. The entire coaching staff will return for another season in the Summit City and that’s certainly good news for TinCaps and Padres fans alike.
Anthony Contreras returns as manager of the club, while Burt Hooton brings a wealth of knowledge back as the pitching coach. Jonathan Mathews will be in charge of instructing the TinCaps and Jhonny Carvajal will resume his duties as fielding coach. Now that we have the introductions out-of-the-way, let’s take a few hundred words to get to know the 2019 TinCaps coaching staff:
Anthony Contreras enters his fourth campaign as the skipper in Fort Wayne. The 35-year-old manager will be only the third in Fort Wayne’s history to lead the team for at least three seasons.
He’s set to join just Doug Dascenzo (2007-09) and Randy Ready (2004-06). Both Dascenzo and Ready have since coached in the major leagues. Contreras previously managed the Padres Short-Season A affiliate, the Tri-City Dust Devils (Northwest League) back in 2015. Contreras led Tri-City to a 42-34 record, a division title, and a run to the Northwest League Finals. That success came after he made his professional managerial debut in 2014 with the Rookie-level Peoria Padres (Arizona League).
Contreras, a San Jose native, attended San Jose State (2002-05) where he set a school record as a senior with a 32-game hitting streak, while also collecting First Team All-Western Athletic Conference and winning his team’s MVP and leadership awards. He was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the ninth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and over a nine-year minor league career averaged a .257 batting average and .292 on-base percentage. Contreras played six different positions over his career, spending a majority of that time as a middle infielder. He played in the San Diego Padres system from June 2008-August 2013.
Hooton, who will be 69 on opening day, is entering his 44th season of professional baseball and is the longest-tenured coach the TinCaps have ever had. No one else has served on the team’s staff for more than four seasons. Hooton pitched in the big leagues for the Cubs, Dodgers, and Rangers from 1971-85 and has experience as a Major League pitching coach with the Astros from 2000-04. Hooton has a combined 20 years experience as a MiLB pitching coach and an additional three seasons (1997-99) leading the pitchers at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. During his playing career, Hooton was famous for his devastating knuckle curve as well as tossing a no-hitter while with the Cubs as a 22-year-old rookie. In 1978, Hooton had his best season statically, making 32 starts and compiling a record of 19-10 with a 2.71 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also finished 2nd in the Cy Young Award voting, losing out to Gaylord Perry of the San Diego Padres.
Jhonny Carvajal and Jonathan Mathews are certainly no strangers to the Fort Wayne fans. They’ll both play an important role in the continued development of a group of players that help make up the deepest and most talented farm system in baseball.
Carvajal will continue in his role as the fielding coach, a position in which he’s been instrumental in developing some of the organization’s talented young infielders. Mathews enters his second year as the TinCaps hitting coach and was on San Diego’s big league staff in 2017, primarily working with team’s outfielders. Previously, Mathews was a coach in the Diamondbacks’ farm system, where he served as hitting coach for the Kane County Cougars in 2016 and South Bend in 2014.