Fayetteville Woodpeckers Coaching Staff for 2020 Announced
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Houston Astros, announced their coaching staff for the 2020 season. Nate Shaver will be back for his second season at the helm. Shaver guided Fayetteville to a 72-67 record in 2019, claiming the second half title in the Southern Division and falling one game short of a Carolina League Championship.
Shaver enters his third season with the Astros organization and second as manager of the Woodpeckers. He served as Development Coach for the Buies Creek Astros in 2018. Prior to his stint in the Astros organization, he coached for Wake Technical Community College and New Mexico State University.
Joining Shaver on the staff is pitching coach Thomas Whitsett and hitting coach Rafael Peña. Whitsett returns for his second season on the Woodpeckers staff. Prior to last season, Whitsett was Director of Player Development-Pitchers at the University of Arizona. Peña joins the Woodpeckers after spending the previous two seasons with the Astros Low-A affiliate Quad Cities River Bandits. Prior to joining the Astros, Peña was an assistant coach at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, where he also played collegiately.
"I'm honored to be back managing in Fayetteville for 2020 representing the Houston Astros in the Carolina League," said Shaver. "Thomas Whitsett will be returning as the pitching coach after mentoring a staff that broke the Carolina League record for strikeouts. Rafael Peña earned a promotion from Quad Cities and will be joining the staff as the hitting coach. Following a season where we moved 17 players to AA (Corpus Christi), won 72 games and a Southern Division Championship, we look forward to making even more improvements and developing our minor league baseball players into big leaguers. Thank you to the fans for the unwavering support last season. Most importantly, the individuals and the families of those who have served and are currently serving the greatest country in the world. I look forward to the upcoming season."
In addition, Nate Stewart will return for his second season as the athletic trainer and Zach Reding will join the club as its strength coach after being promoted from Quad Cities. Stewart spent 13 seasons in the San Diego Padres organization as an athletic trainer before coming to Fayetteville last season. Prior to his one season at Quad Cities in 2019, Reding was a graduate assistant for the baseball team and the athletic strength and conditioning staff at Wichita State University.
Jason Kanzler and Mike Myers, who served on the Woodpeckers staff last year, received promotions this winter. Both have been added to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks coaching staff for the 2020 season.
The Woodpeckers open their second season of play against the Frederick Keys on Thursday, April 9th at Segra Stadium.
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