Dodgers Announce 2016 Minor League Managers

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Dodgers announce new managerial coaches for all six of their minor league affiliates.

It is clear that the Dodgers are not only looking to make coaching changes at the major league level, but also throughout the minors. With their primary focus on the farm system and developing top level prospects, having qualified coaches at each level is essential. On Monday morning the Dodgers released the names of all six new managerial coaches for each of their minor league affiliates.

The new managers are as follows: Bill Haselman will manage the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers, Ryan Garko at Double-A Tulsa, Drew Saylor at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Gil Velazquez at Single-A Great Lakes, Shaun Larkin at Rookie-Advanced Ogden and lastly, John Shoemaker at Rookie-Level Arizona League.

Headlining them all is Bill Haselman. Haselman, at the age of 49 has an impressive resume. He managed the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes to a California League title this past season for the first time since 1994. Bill not only has had success as a coach in the minors, but  in the majors as well. In 2004 he was a coach on the  World Champion Boston Red Sox team that also included Dodgers new manager, Dave Roberts, and minor league farm director Gabe Kapler on the roster.

Ryan Garko will be taking over the Double-A team at just the age of 34. Garko played ten professional baseball seasons, with six of them being at the major league level. He played for the Indians from 2005-2009, the Giants in 2009 and the Rangers in 2010. Garko played various positions throughout his career that include the outfield, first base and catcher.  In 2014, Stanford announced that Garko would be joining them on their coaching staff. Between his minor league and major league success, plus his coaching career at Standford, Ryan Garko proved to be the perfect candidate for the job.

Taking over as the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes manager is Drew Saylor. Saylor is 31 years old and was previously a hitting coach and manager in the Rockies farm system for 4 years. He was drafted by the Marlins in the 13th round in 2006. Following the draft, Saylor spent 5 years in the minors between the Marlins and Astros. He of all coaches, has the biggest shoes to fill joining a team that won their league this past season.

Gil Velazquez makes his managerial debut at the age of 36 for Single-A Great Lakes. Though this may be his first time being a manger, Velazquez has had plenty of experience as a player. He had 17 successful professional seasons. Velazquez was an infielder who played for 5 big league seasons with the Red Sox in 2008-2009, the Angels in 2011 and the Marlins from 2012 to 2013.

Shaun Larkin becomes the new manager for Rookie-Advanced Ogden.  Larkin played 6 professional seasons in the Cleveland Indians organization. At the age of 36, Larkin already has coaching experience. Last year he managed the Single-A Lake County team. In the past he also was a hitting coach for Single-A Mahoning Valley, assistant coach at Cal State Northridge, Orange Coast College and Newport Harbor High School. Larkin knows what it is like to have a successful major league career as well as coach players at every level whether that be high school, college or professional.

Rounding out the new coaching staff is John Shoemaker who is now the skipper for the AZL Dodgers. Shoemaker has had a storied past with the Dodgers organization. This season marks 40 years in the Dodgers organization, with 23 of them being in a managerial position. It all started when he was drafted by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 1977 MLB Draft. Shoemaker has been with the club in different roles since. Last season he was even appointed as the Dodgers “Captain” of Player Development. John has been known for his exceptional work ethic and knowledge of the game.

With all the change taking place at the major league level, it is clear that the Dodgers needed to make some changes in the minors in order to achieve their dream farm system. Each of these six men are more than qualified to coach in the organization. It seems that there is no where but up when it comes to prospects and farm system development for the Dodgers for years to come!

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