2022 Round Rock Express Coaching Staff Revealed
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Texas Rangers revealed the organization's minor league coaching staffs for the 2022 season on Monday, including that of the Round Rock Express. Manager Matt Hagen is set to make his Triple-A coaching debut as the conductor of the E-Train in 2022.
Hagan will be joined by some familiar faces in Round Rock as Pitching Coach Bill Simas, Athletic Trainer Carlos Olivas and Strength & Conditioning Coach Wade Lamont all return for their second consecutive seasons in Express uniforms. Additionally, 2021 E-Train Hitting Coach Chase Lambin is returning to the staff as the Bench Coach. New to the crew in 2022 are Hitting Coach Matt Lawson and Development Coach Josh Johnson.
Hagen spent the last two seasons as the Texas Rangers' Minor League Field Coordinator. He is entering his seventh season in the Rangers organization after previously managing the Low-A Hickory Crawdads in 2018 and 2019 as well as the Short-Season Spokane Indians in 2017. In his three seasons as a manager, Hagen has compiled a .550 winning percentage, combining to post a 192-157 overall record, including capturing the South Atlantic League Championship with Hickory in 2019. He originally joined the Texas organization in 2016 as a coach for the Crawdads.
Prior to joining the Rangers, Hagen spent three years as the head coach at Four Points Baseball in Austin. Upon the conclusion of his playing career in 2012, Hagen returned to his alma mater, Liberty University, as an assistant coach. He also had a stint on the Liberty staff in 2007 and spent three off-seasons as a strength coach for the Flames' baseball, men's soccer and football programs.
An infielder in his playing days, Hagen was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 12th round of the 2002 MLB Draft and spent time in both the Seattle and San Diego Padres organizations, reaching Double-A Mobile in 2006. Hagen continued his playing career in the independent Frontier and Atlantic Leagues from 2007-2012, earning Atlantic League All-Star honors three times. Hagen was a first team All-Big South selection at Liberty University, leading the conference in home runs and RBI as a junior and was a member of Liberty's 2000 Big South Championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Hagen graduated from Liberty in 2012 with a degree in Sport Management.
Simas returns to Round Rock for his second season in the Texas organization and his 12th overall as an instructor. Under his leadership in 2021, the Express pitching staff combined to post the lowest opponent batting average in franchise history, allowing foes to hit just .246 against the club. Prior to joining the E-Train, Simas spent 10 seasons as a coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, tutoring pitchers at Triple-A Oklahoma City from 2018-2020, Double-A Tulsa from 2016-2017, High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2015, Class-A Great Lakes from 2013-2014 and Rookie-level Ogden from 2011-2012. During his time with the Los Angeles organization, he worked with multiple pitchers that contributed to the Dodgers' 2020 World Series champion club.
The right-hander played 13 seasons of affiliated baseball, including six campaigns at the Major League level with the Chicago White Sox from 1995-2000. Simas posted a career 18-19 record, 3.83 ERA and 23 saves in the big leagues and his 308 career relief outings still rank as eighth-most in White Sox franchise history. A native of California, Simas was selected by the California Angels in the sixth round of the 1992 MLB draft out of Fresno City College. He pitched in the Angels system until he was traded to the White Sox on July 27, 1995. He also spent time with the Dodgers (2003) and Seattle Mariners (2004) organizations, Monclova of the Mexican League (2005) and Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican Winter League (2008-2011).
Lawson is set to make his coaching debut in affiliated baseball as Round Rock's hitting coach in 2022 following eight seasons serving a variety of coaching roles at his alma mater, Missouri State University, including the last four as the club's hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator. Lawson was a three-year letterwinner at second base for MSU from 2005-2007, picking up second-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors and MSU's Willis Award as team MVP in 2006. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Missouri State in 2015 before finishing a master's degree in sports management from MSU in 2017.
A native of Carl Junction, Missouri, Lawson posted a successful seven-year playing career after being drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 14th round of the 2007 MLB Draft. During his career, Lawson advanced as far as Triple-A Columbus with the Cleveland Indians organization, hitting a career-best .327 in 2012 with Double-A Akron. He was named the Short-Season Spokane Indians' team MVP as a rookie in 2007 and a Class-A California League All-Star in 2009. He followed that performance with an effort that earned him a spot in the Double-A Texas League All-Star Game the following year.
Lambin is back in Round Rock after making his Triple-A coaching debut with the Express in 2021. Before hopping aboard the E-Train, Lambin spent the 2020 campaign as a member of the Rangers' Fall Developmental League coaching staff. He previously served as a hitting coach for High-A Down East in 2019, Class-A Hickory in 2018, Short-Season Spokane in 2017 and the Rookie-level Arizona League Rangers in 2016. He first joined the Texas organization as a member of the Spokane coaching staff in 2015.
Lambin's coaching tenure follows a playing career that spanned 13 seasons at the minor league level. He concluded his time on the field in 2014 with Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League, playing in 106 games with the Skeeters. Lambin was selected by the New York Mets in the 34th round of the 2002 MLB Draft out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and played in the Mets (2002-2006), Florida/Miami Marlins (2007-2008, 2012), Washington Nationals (2010), Minnesota Twins (2011) and Kansas City Royals (2013) organizations. He also spent the 2009 season with Chiba Lotte in Japan. The versatile defender appeared at every position except catcher over the course of his career.
Johnson joins the staff in Round Rock to make his Triple-A coaching debut following a stint as the manager of the High-A Hickory Crawdads in 2021. After the cancellation of the Minor League Baseball season in 2020, Johnson led a group of Rangers prospects in the Fall Developmental League, with both Rangers entries combining to post a 29-10-5 record. He originally joined the organization as a coach for Low-A Hickory in 2019 following one season as the Infield Coach on the San Diego Padres Major League staff in 2018. He also skippered the Gulf Coast League Nationals in the Washington farm system from 2016-2017. He led the GCL Nationals to an East Division title and an appearance in the GCL Championship in 2017, earning him the GCL Manager of the Year award. Under his guidance, outfielder Juan Soto was named GCL Most Valuable Player in 2016.
A switch-hitting infielder in his playing days, Johnson played professionally for 12 seasons in the Kansas City Royals (2004-2009) and Washington Nationals (2010-2015) organizations. He finished his career with a .252 batting average, 35 home runs, 384 RBI, 131 stolen bases and more walks (621) than strikeouts (614) over 1,069 minor league games, reaching as high as the Triple-A level. The Florida native was selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of Middleton High School in Florida. He was an All-America selection in baseball at Middleton and bypassed a full scholarship to the University of Texas to sign with the Royals.
Olivas returns to Round Rock for his seventh season at the Triple-A level and 14th season overall in the Texas organization. While with the Express in 2021, Olivas was named the Triple-A West League Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). Before his award-winning 2021 season, he spent the abbreviated 2020 campaign at the club's Alternate Training Site in Arlington after time in 2019 with Triple-A Nashville. Olivas also served as Round Rock's Athletic Trainer from 2016-2018 during the club's first stint with the Rangers.
Before to moving to Triple-A, Olivas spent five seasons as the Athletic Trainer for Double-A Frisco from 2011-2015, where he was selected as the Texas League Athletic Trainer of the Year by PBATS in both 2012 and 2013. He spent the 2009 and 2010 campaigns at Short-Season Spokane after eight years in the Dodgers organization from 2001-2008. He served in the same capacity for Double-A Jacksonville in 2006 and 2008, High-A Vero Beach in 2005, Class-A Columbus from 2003-2004, Class-A South Georgia in 2002 and Rookie-level Great Falls in 2001. Olivas held athletic training internships with both the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays in 2000, as well as for the Triple-A Albuquerque Dukes from 1999-2000. Olivas graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in Athletic Training.
The 2022 season will mark Lamont's 11th year in the Texas organization and his second with the Express after making his Triple-A debut with Round Rock in 2021 following a role on the Rangers' Alternate Training Site staff in 2020. Lamont's previous stops in the organization include four seasons at Double-A Frisco from 2017-2019, another four at Class-A Hickory from 2013-2016 and one season with the Rookie-level Arizona League Rangers in 2012.
He was selected in the 29th round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers and spent three seasons in the club's farm system. He finished the 2009 campaign with Windy City of the independent Frontier League. The Florida native batted .320 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI as a junior at Flagler College. His father Gene played parts of five seasons in the Majors with the Detroit Tigers and managed eight years with the White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Round Rock Express kick off the 2022 campaign with Opening Day at Dell Diamond on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:05 p.m. as the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres affiliate) come to town. Full season and mini season membership plans are on sale now. For more information about the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Subscribe to the E-Train email newsletter and keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
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