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 Stockton Ports

Stockton Ports Announce 2024 Coaching Staff

February 13, 2024 - California League (CalL)
Stockton Ports News Release

Stockton, Calif. - In conjunction with the Oakland Athletics, the Stockton Ports announced their coaching staff for the 2024 season Monday morning.

Manager - Javier Godard

Javier Godard takes the helm at Stockton after serving as hitting coach for Midland in 2023 and Lansing from 2021-22. He began his professional coaching career as a member of the Stockton staff in 2019 and was named hitting coach for Beloit in 2020, prior to the cancellation of the minor league season.

Originally signed as an international free agent on Jan. 30, 2013, by the Oakland A's, Godard went on to play six seasons of affiliated baseball with the club. He played three years in the Dominican Summer League before coming to the United States in 2016. His best season came in 2015 when he batted .277 with 16 doubles and 22 RBI in 59 games for the DSL A's.

Godard was born in Baruta, Venezuela. He is married to Johanna.

Pitching Coach - Gabriel Ozuna

Gabriel Ozuna enters his 17th season with the A's, his second as pitching coach for Stockton. He previously served as the pitching coach of the A's Arizona League affiliate for eight years after spending seven seasons as the pitching coach for Oakland's Dominican Summer League squad.

Ozuna was originally signed by St. Louis as a non-drafted free agent in 1987 and enjoyed a 17-year professional career. He reached as high as Triple-A with Louisville in 1993, when he posted a 2.92 ERA in 35 relief appearances. He recorded a career ERA of 2.54 with 61 saves, including a season-high 28 in 1989 with Single-A Savannah.

He also pitched internationally in Mexico, Taiwan, Italy and his native Dominican Republic, where he played winter ball with the Licey Tigers and East Bulls.

Hitting Coach - Ron Witmeyer

Ron Witmeyer joins Stockton as the hitting coach, a role he previously held in Lansing in 2023. Originally drafted by the A's in the seventh round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft, he has coached at every level of baseball since the end of his five-year playing career, including multiple stops at the collegiate level.

His coaching career began at Stanford University, his alma mater, in 1994, followed by stints as head coach at City College of San Francisco and as an assistant coach at California. In 2007, Witmeyer opened the first of two Frozen Ropes San Diego Baseball and Softball Training Centers, and from 2015-20, he was also the head coach at the Bishop's School in La Jolla, where he coached his sons Clay-a recent Washington University Business School graduate- and Tommy-currently a sophomore in the business school at Santa Clara University-throughout their high school baseball careers.

In 2021, Witmeyer was the manager of the independent Martinez Sturgeon, and most recently, he served as head coach at Marymount California University for the 2021-22 season.

Witmeyer's college career was highlighted by back-to-back College World Series Championships at Stanford in 1987-88. After being drafted by the A's, he made his Major League debut in 1991. He resides in San Diego, Calif.

Assistant Hitting Coach - Luis Baez

Luis Baez takes on the role of assistant hitting coach with Stockton, a role he previously held in Lansing in 2023. He began his coaching career with the A's in 2018 as an infield coach in the Dominican Republic.

Originally signed by the A's in 2009, Baez played professionally at several levels of the organization, batting .234 with 17 home runs and 113 RBI over a seven-year professional career. He is originally from Bani, Dominican Republic.

Athletic Trainer - Audyanna Merrick

Audyanna Merrick enters her fourth season with the Athletics, her first as head athletic trainer with Stockton. She previously served as assistant athletic trainer for the Arizona A's from 2021-22 and as head athletic trainer with the ACL A's in 2023. Merrick graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in April 2020. After graduation, she was hired as an Assistant Athletic Trainer at GCU where she worked with the baseball and men's volleyball teams.

Merrick is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Kinesiology from A.T. Still University.

Sports Performance Coach - Nathaniel Penaranda

Nathaniel Penaranda enters his second season with Stockton after spending the previous two seasons with the Arizona A's. Prior to that, he spent three years as a sports performance specialist for Grand Canyon University, where he oversaw the strength and conditioning programs for the men's soccer, beach volleyball, and swim and dive teams. Prior to his time with GCU, he served as assistant strength coach for the University of Portland following stints at USC and TCU as a sports performance intern.

A native of Vancouver, Wash., Penaranda attended Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., where he played football. He has a master's degree from Grand Canyon University, along with five certifications in the strength and conditioning field.

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