On Monday, news began rolling out news about the coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates, even as the teams for those affiliates are not offcially confirmed as minor league teams are still reviewing the new player development licenses from Major League Baseball after the major changes to the minor league system.
Many of the coaches were part of announced staffs from the cancelled 2020 season, although there are some changes and movements since then.
After 2020, the Giants system had some changes due to their minor league affiliates due to MLB’s changes to the minor league structure. The San Jose Giants were moved (with the rest of the California League) to the Low-A level, while the Giants’ previous Low-A team, the Augusta GreenJackets, were moved to the Atlanta Braves system. The Northwest League was promoted to High-A (from the now discontinued Short-A ball level), but the Giants affiliate there, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, were not invited to come back. The Giants have a new affiliate in the league, the Eugene Emeralds, who previously were a Cubs affiliate.
The Giants will continue to field two teams in the Arizona Rookie League, and for the first time, will field two teams in the Dominican Summer League. That change had previously been planned for the 2020 season, and was not part of MLB’s changes to the minors.
Schedules for the minor league season have still not been announced, as MLB is waiting for all teams to sign the new player development licenses before they can do so.
Triple-A – Sacramento
In Sacramento, a familiar staff will be leading the team. Dave Brundage will be managing the still-defending Triple-A champion River Cats for his fourth season (not including the cancelled 2020 season). Brundage in the minors has been managing since 1995, and has been managing in Triple-A since 2006, with stops in Tacoma (2006), Richmond/Gwinnett (2007-2012), and Lehigh Valley (2013-2016).
Joining him again as hitting coach will be Damon Minor, who has held that position at Sacramento since 2015. As the pitching coach, the Giants have brought in Garvin Alston Sr., who was supposed to be the San Jose pitching coach for 2020. He was the Twins major league pitching coach in 2018, and a longtime Athletics coach both in the minors from 2005-2015 (during Farhan Zaidi’s tenure) and bullpen coach in the Majors in 2017. He was also the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen coach in 2016. His son, Garvin Alston Jr. was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 37th round of the 2019 draft.
Sacramento will carry two athletic trainers, David Getsoff and Hiro Sato, but a strength and conditioning coach has not been announced yet.
Double-A – Richmond
The Richmond staff will be comprised mostly of who was supposed to be there in 2020. Longtime Giant Jose Alguacil will take over the management of Richmond, as it was intended for him to do in 2020. Alguacil has been with the Giants for 15 years, and was first base coach for three years under Bruce Bochy at the big league level. Alguacil was manager at Richmond in 2015 as well, and that season prompted the Giants promoting him to the big league staff the following year.
Rejoining Richmond as pitching coach is longtime coach Steve Kline, who was named as the 2020 pitching coach. Kline spent 2015-2017 as the pitching coach of Richmond, and 2018-2019 with Sacramento. He’d been the Augusta (Low-A) pitching coach from 2009 through 2014. The hitting coach will be Doug Clark, who also was to be with the team in 2020. Clark spent 2019 as the hitting coach for Salem-Keizer, and previously had been a hitting coach in the Arizona League (2015, 2017-2018) and Augusta (2016).
Joining Richmond will be longtime Giants coach Gary Davenport as the fundamentals coach. Davenport had held that role in San Jose since 2018, and was supposed to be in San Jose for 2020. Davenport has also managed Salem-Keizer (2013-2014), and held other coaching roles in San Jose (2005, 2008-2012) and then-Double-A Connecticut (2006-2007).
The team’s athletic trainer will be Garrett Havig, and the Strength and Conditioning Coach will be Joe Palazzolo.
High-A – Eugene
High-A Eugene, the Giants’ newest affiliate, will be led by manager Dennis Pelfrey. Pelfrey was brought into the Giants organization in 2020, when he was supposed to manage the then-High-A San Jose Giants. Before coming to the Giants, Pelfrey spent five years in the Frontier League, managing the Florence Freedom, a span that included two trips to that league’s Championship Series.
The Eugene pitching coach with be Alain Quijano, who was intended to be the Augusta GreenJackets pitching coach in 2020. Before that, he spent five years as the pitching coach for the Gary SouthShore RailCats, of the American Association. Jake Fox will take the hitting coach role. Fox was the Augusta GreenJackets hitting coach for 2019 and 2020, and was in the Northwest League for the Giants at Salem-Keizer in 2018.
In the fundamental coach role, the Giants will send Lipso Nava, a longtime Giants coach now in his 14th year coaching in the organization. Nava was the fundamentals coach for Richmond from 2019-2020, and has been a manager previously in San Jose (2016) and Augusta (2011-2012).
Tim Vigue will be the Eugene Athletic Trainer, and Matt Jordan will serve as the Conditioning Coach.
Low-A – San Jose
In San Jose, the California League managerial record-holder for wins, championships, and more records is back! Lenn Sakata, who last managed the San Jose Giants in 2014, will be returning for his eighth season with the team. Sakata has a 539-441 record as the San Jose manager, with three California League Championships. Sakata was supposed to manage the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in 2020.
The San Jose coaching staff will bring back parts of Sakata’s announced Volcanoes staff. The pitching coach will be Paul Oseguera, who was supposed to be in S-K last season, his first year coaching in the minors. Oseguera also was an assistant coach at De La Salle high school in 2018, which is where 2020 draftee Kyle Harrison pitched. Eliezer Zambrano will be San Jose’s Fundamentals coach, and he also was meant to be with Sakata and the Volcanoes. Zambrano spent 2019 as the bullpen catcher in Richmond, and in 2018 was the bullpen coach there.
As hitting coach for San Jose, the Giants are bringing in Danny Santin. Santin was the Assistant Hitting Coordinator, a roving coach, for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019-20. Before that, he spent five seasons in High-A Jupiter as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins affiliate there.
Vitto Maffei will be San Jose’s Athletic Trainer, and Jesse White will be the Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Arizona League Giants 1
The official announcement eschews the previous naming of the “Giants Orange” and “Giants Black” team names.
For Team #1, Carlos Valderrama will serve as the team’s manager. Valderrama managed the Augusta GreenJackets in 2019 and was to manage the team in 2020 as well. He previously managed in the AZL in 2018. Mario Rodriguez will serve as the pitching coach, a role he’s served since 2016. Travis Ishikawa will serve as the hitting coach, a role he’s served since 2018.
Jeremiah Knackstedt will take over the fundamentals coaching role. Knackstedt was signed for the 2020 season for the role, and had been coaching in the independent Prospect League before that. The team’s athletic trainer will be Christian Fosler, but no strength and conditioning coach has been named.
Arizona League Giants 2
On the other side of the Arizona League, newcomer Lance Burkhart will be the team’s new manager. Burkhart last served as the fielding coach of the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Padres Triple-A team, where he coached with his brother Morgan since 2018. He was supposed to return to El Paso for 2020. Michael Couchee will return to the AZL as a pitching coach, where he’s coached with the Giants since 2018, and with the San Jose Giants from 2013-2017. Cory Elasik will be the hitting coach. He was hired for the role in 2020, Elasik had served as an assistant coach at St. Johns River State College from 2015 through 2019.
Ydwin Villegas will serve as the fundamentals coach, a role he was supposed to have in 2020. He was the San Jose Giants bullpen catcher in 2019. The athletic trainer will be Chris Gorosics, and the strength and conditioning coach will be Nicholas Fajardo.
Dominican Summer League Giants 1
The Dominican Summer League coaching staffs are nearly identical from the 2020 announcements. Jose Montilla will manage team 1, and be supported by pitching coach Luis Pino and hitting coach Juan Parra. The team will have two fundamentals coaches, in Lisandro King and Jose Medina.
Dominican Summer League Giants 2
Juan Ciriaco will manage team 2. His pitching coach will be Osiris Matos and his hitting coach will be Craig Maddox. The fundamentals coach will be Hector Ortiz.
Pat Burrell, who was to be the hitting coach at San Jose in 2020, will be the Giants roving hitting instructor for the 2021 season. 2020 was going to be Burrell’s first time coaching, after retiring in 2011. He did do some scouting for the Giants in the meantime.
Eli Whitside will serve as the roving catcher instructor, a role he was supposed to have in 2020 as well. Aside from being a player for the Giants, backing up Buster Posey, Whiteside served as the Giants bullpen catcher under Bruce Bochy.
Among the Spring Training instructors will be former Giants major league coaches Dave Righetti and Shawon Dunston, who had been serving as special assistants for the Giants after leaving Bochy’s coaching staff. Gene Clines will also be coaching at Spring Training, having been with the Giants since 2016 as a special assistant. Clines has a long coaching history, including serving on Dusty Baker’s staff from 1997 through 2002.