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Brewers announce Minor League coaching positions12/11/2007 11:52 AM ET
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers have added a pair of coaches to the team's Minor League coaching ranks and have made several minor league coaching moves within the organization. New to the Brewers minor league system includes Chris Hook, who has been named the pitching coach at Double-A Huntsville while Jim Lett joins the organization as the hitting coach at Single-A West Virginia.
Hook, 39, most recently served as the pitching coach for the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League, a position he has held since 2003. He also spent three seasons as the pitching coach for Northern Kentucky University from 2000-02.
Prior to his coaching career, Hook pitched for 11 professional seasons including two seasons in the Major Leagues with the San Francisco Giants from 1995-96. He owns a career 5-2 mark in 55 career games at the Major League level. Hook went 57-47 with a 4.24 ERA in 247 career appearances in the minor leagues. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cincinnati Reds on 6/14/89.
In addition, since 2001 he has owned and operated a baseball training center based in Florence, Kentucky, where he resides along with his wife, Toni, and their two sons, Christian and Brennan.
Lett, 56, served as the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the past two seasons (2006-07). Prior to his stint with Pittsburgh, Lett spent five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, serving as the team's bench coach in 2005 after four seasons as the bullpen coach (2001-04). He also was part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization from 1997-2000 including three seasons as the bench coach. He spent the 2000 season as Toronto's Assistant Director of Player Development.
Lett has worked in professional baseball as a player, coach, manager and front office executive for the last 33 years, having spent 24 of those years within the Cincinnati Reds organization from 1973-1996. He began his career as a player with Rookie - Bradenton in the Reds minor league system in '73 and batted .256 with six home runs and 110 RBI in three minor league seasons.
Following his playing career, he began coaching with the Reds as a Minor League manager from 1977-1985. In two separate stints, he served as Cincinnati's Bench Coach (1986-89, 1996). He managed again in the minors in 1990, coached for the Nashville Sounds (1991-92) and was the organization's Minor League Field Coordinator (1993-95).
Lett graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1973 with a degree in Geography. He was selected to the All-Southeastern Conference baseball team in 1971 and also was a quarterback on the Wildcats football team. He and is wife, Diane, reside in Winfield, West Virginia. They have two children, daughter, Merideth and son, James Craig.
The Brewers have also made several additional coaching changes throughout the minor league system. Amongst these changes, Ken Berry will serve as the Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator, replacing Mark Little. Berry spent last season as the Hitting Coach at Class High A - Brevard County. Prior to joining the Manatees coaching staff, Berry spent eight seasons coaching in the Mets Minor League system. He owns a career .255 batting average with 58 home runs and 343 RBI in 1,383 Major League games between Chicago-AL, Los Angeles-AL, Cleveland and Milwaukee.
In other changes, Mike Guerrero has been promoted to Manager at Class High A - Brevard County after serving the same role with Single A - West Virginia last season. The 2008 season will be his 14th season has a manager in the Brewers organization. His previous managerial positions include four seasons at Rookie - Arizona and seven seasons at the helm of the Dominican Brewers from 1995-02. He has compiled a 500-387 lifetime managerial record.
Guerrero replaces former Brevard County Manager John Tamargo, who managed the Manatees for two seasons (2005 and 2007). Corey D. Hart will serve as the hitting instructor at Brevard County, filling the void left by Ken Berry. Hart started his coaching path as the hitting coach for Single-A West Virginia a season ago. He spent 11 professional seasons as a player with Kansas City, New York-NL, and Milwaukee.
Rene Gonzales will manage the Helena Brewers in 2008. Last season, he was the manager for the Arizona Brewers in his first season in the Brewers organization. Arizona recorded a 19-37 overall record in 2007. Tony Diggs, the Brewers Assistant Director - Player Development/Training Center, will also manage the Rookie - Arizona squad this upcoming season.
In other moves, Tom Reynolds has been promoted to Strength & Conditioning Specialist with Triple-A Nashville after spending last season with the Huntsville Stars. Eric McMahon will serve as Huntsville's Strength and Conditioning Specialist after serving the same position with the Helena Brewers a year ago.
Jake Marx has been promoted to a full-time Strength & Conditioning Specialist position based in Arizona. In this role, he will handle the daily strength and conditioning duties for all programs conducted at the Brewers Development Center in Maryvale. He will also serve as the Strength & Conditioning Specialist for the Helena Brewers during their short season. Marx spent the 2007 season with the Brevard County Manatees.
The 2008 Minor League staff follows:
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