The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced their 2019 Minor League coaching staffs across all levels.
In a press release today, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced their complete 2019 Minor League coaching and training staff assignments:
The club will retain some continuity in key spots, most notably at the manager’s chair in the upper levels. Brian Esposito and Michael Ryan will retain their positions at Triple-A and Double-A, respectively. Wyatt Toregas moves from low-A to High-A Bradenton. All three are considered to be rising stars in the Pirates’ minors coaching ranks.
Other noteworthy moves revolve around the club’s pitching coaches. Bryan Hickerson will move up to Triple-A after serving as Altoona’s pitching coach over the previous two seasons while The Hammer Joel Hanrahan will replace him in Altoona. Stan Kyles had previously served as the Indians’ pitching coach; He will now move down to the new-to-the-Pirates Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Low-A South Atlantic League.
Though these decisions are never made in a vacuum, it is worth noting that prized pitching prospect Mitch Keller made tremendous strides in Altoona under Hickerson. We have seen the Pirates promote pitching coaches from within to stay at the same level in which they had success with their young charges. The best example of this is Justin Meccage, who joined the big league club at a time when Jameson Taillon, Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and Tyler Glasnow - to name a few - were established enough as big-leaguers but not yet getting the most out of their talent. Meccage had coached each of those throughout their rise in the minors.
While I would stop well short of calling this an organizational philosophy, this practice is notable.