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 Oklahoma City Baseball Club

Championship Coaching Staff Returns to Oklahoma City for 2024 Season

February 23, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Oklahoma City Baseball Club News Release


OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Baseball Club, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Dodgers, have announced the 2024 OKC Baseball Club field staff, with all members returning following a 2023 Pacific Coast League Championship.

Manager Travis Barbary returns for his fifth season in the Oklahoma City dugout. Hitting coach Manny Burriss, pitching coaches Doug Mathis and Justin DeFratus and bench coach Chris Gutierrez remain on staff as well.

Barbary is entering his 30th season in the Dodgers organization as a player, staff member or coach and his fifth consecutive season as Oklahoma City's field manager. Last season Barbary helped lead OKC to its first league championship since 1996. During the regular season, the team went 90-58, marking the second-most wins in franchise history (since 1962) and most since 1965. The 90 wins were also tied for most among all teams in Minor League Baseball. Along with 84 wins in 2022, the team has finished with two of the three-highest win totals during the Bricktown era (since 1998) in each of the last two seasons.

Barbary began his time in Oklahoma City in 2019 and now has a combined record of 303-259. He'll become just the second manager in Oklahoma City's Triple-A history to serve as manager for five consecutive seasons and will also be tied for the second-most seasons managed with OKC overall.

Before being named OKC's manager, Barbary spent the previous 12 years as the organization's catching coordinator. He has also served as a hitting coach and manager in the lower levels of the Dodgers' farm system, with four total seasons managing the Rookie-Level Ogden Raptors (2003-04) and Low-A Columbus Catfish (2005-06). From 1998-2001, he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a bullpen catcher.

Originally from Easley, S.C., the 52-year-old Barbary played collegiately at Spartanburg Methodist Junior College and the University of Virginia. The former catcher spent one season playing professionally in the Dodgers organization in 1994 before transitioning to coaching.

Burriss enters his fourth season as the team's hitting coach and last season helped mentor Pacific Coast League MVP Michael Busch. Between 2021-22, the team finished among the top three in the PCL in runs scored both seasons, including a team-record 949 runs in 2022. In 2022, the team drew a club-record 731 walks to lead all the Minor Leagues and drew the most walks by any Triple-A team since 2004.

Burriss, 39, joined the Dodgers organization in 2019 as a roving hitting instructor. The Washington, D.C., native played professionally from 2006-18, including parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. He played collegiately at Kent State University and was selected with the 33rd overall pick of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft by San Francisco.

Mathis and DeFratus both return to guide the club's pitching staff after a successful 2023 which saw OKC lead the league in ERA, WHIP, opponent batting average and strikeouts while allowing the fewest runs and hits, as well as the second-fewest walks and third-fewest home runs.

The 40-year-old Mathis is back in OKC for his second season. He began his coaching career in 2017 in the Seattle Mariners organization before moving on to become the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A pitching coach with Buffalo in 2019. In 2020, he joined the Texas Rangers' Major League coaching staff and was the team's bullpen coach (2020) and co-pitching coach (2021-22) across three seasons.

The native of Show Low, Ariz., played collegiately at Central Arizona College and the University of Missouri before he played professionally for 11 seasons between 2005-15, including 45 games over parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Rangers between 2008-10. He also played overseas throughout his career in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Additionally, Mathis has the distinction of being a former Oklahoma City player, spending parts of the 2007-10 seasons with the RedHawks, totaling 42 career games (37 starts).

DeFratus, 36, returns to the OKC coaching staff for a fourth straight year. Before being elevated to co-pitching coach last season, he was the team's bullpen coach over the 2021-22 seasons.

DeFratus played professionally for 13 seasons, including each of his last two seasons in the Dodgers organization, with time spent with OKC in 2018 and 2019. He made 191 appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies between 2011-15 and also played in Triple-A with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.

Gutierrez is back as the team's bench coach and third base coach for a second season. Before joining OKC, he spent the 2021-22 seasons in a similar role at Double-A Tulsa and has been a coach in the Dodgers organization since 2018. Previously, Gutierrez spent two years as a hitting coach in the Chicago Cubs' minor league system.

His playing career spanned from 2005-13 in the Blue Jays, Angels, Dodgers and Marlins organizations, reaching as a high as Triple-A. Gutierrez, 39, is originally from Orlando, Fla., but played collegiately at Oklahoma State from 2003-05 and was named to the program's "All-Allie P. Team of the 2000s."

Lead athletic trainer Chelsea Willette returns for a fourth season with the club, along with athletic trainer Griffin Boyte, who returns for his second season. Paul Fournier will begin his third season as the team's performance coach. Fournier has a total of 17 years of experience as a Major League strength and conditioning coach, including eight seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He'll be assisted this season by Taylor Miller.

The OKC Baseball Club opens the 2024 season Friday, March 29 and plays their home opener Tuesday, April 2. Season-ticket and group packages are available now for purchase, and single-game tickets go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 13. Visit okcbaseball.com or call (405) 218-2182 for more information.


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