NFL, MLB, CFL stats

Tigers Announce 2022 West Michigan Whitecaps Coaching Staff

January 6, 2022 - Midwest League (MWL) - West Michigan Whitecaps News Release

West Michigan Whitecaps manager Brayan Peña
West Michigan Whitecaps manager Brayan Peña
(West Michigan Whitecaps)

COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps announced today manager Brayan Peña will return for his second season at the helm in 2022. He returns with an all-new coaching staff, in a move announced in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

The former Detroit Tigers catcher and 14th manager in Whitecaps history led his team to a 58-62 record in his first season. West Michigan posted the 4th-best run differential in the 12-team High-A Central League while giving up the fewest runs in the Eastern Division.

"I appreciate the Tigers and Whitecaps for trusting me with such great young talent," said Peña. "I love Whitecaps fans - from everyone that works on and off the field, to the front office, that helped take our players to the next level and made all of us feel like major leaguers!"

Peña's return to West Michigan comes alongside several new faces to the Tigers minor-league ranks, including pitching coach Dean Stiles, hitting coach C.J. Wamsley, development coach Nick Bredeson, athletic trainer Sean McFarland, and strength coach Tyler Gniadek and baseball information assistant Quinn Smith.

"Nothing better than getting official word that Brayan Peña will be returning to the dugout and leading the Whitecaps in 2022," said Whitecaps VP & General Manager Jim Jarecki. "Brayan has grown into his managerial position and navigated the team through an unusual 2021 season. The positive atmosphere he creates, not only on the field but off the field, is very unique. He places his work ethic and love for baseball right out in front for all to see-I know Whitecaps fans are excited to see him back. "

Dean Stiles spent 2021 managing the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League to a league-best 54-42 record. His most previous stops included time as a Pitching Coach in the LA Dodgers organization in the pitching development program. Before his time with the Dodgers, Stiles served as pitching coach at the collegiate level with the University of Oregon, Florida International University, and San Jose State University. Stiles mentored 54 pitchers selected in the MLB Draft during that time, including first-round selections Nate Pearson of the Toronto Blue Jays and David Peterson of the New York Mets.

Wamsley spent the 2021 season as the developmental coach with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. The native of Conway, South Carolina, enters his second season and third year in the Tigers system after five years as a hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Ohio University and time as an assistant coach at Troy and Morehead State University. Bredeson also spent time in Athens as an assistant coach for Ohio University before joining the Tigers this offseason. McFarland, an alum of Bowling Green State University and the 2018 New York-Penn League Athletic Trainer of the Year, has worked in the Tigers system since 2017. Gniadek arrives with professional experience after stints with the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox over the past five years.

Peña arrived in West Michigan after managerial stops with the Connecticut and Gulf Coast League Tigers after a 12-year playing career. The native of Havana, Cuba, played for five different Major League teams, including a part of the 2013 Tigers AL Central Division Championship roster. In 2018, Peña led the GCL-Tigers to its first league championship since it became a full-time member in 1995.

"This group of coaches are bringing some good experience that should translate well with the Whitecaps players," Jarecki added. Spring Training cannot start soon enough and Opening Day 2022 is just around the corner."

The Whitecaps have preparations for the 2022 campaign well underway. The scheduled season opener is set for Friday, April 8 at Dow Diamond against the Great Lakes Loons before the home opener Tuesday, April 12, with the Lansing Lugnuts at 6:35 p.m. Get information on 2022 season tickets by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting

About West Michigan Whitecaps: The Whitecaps minor league baseball team was established in 1994. The Whitecaps are the High- A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play in the Eastern Division of the High-A Central League. The team's home games are played in West Michigan's favorite, largest, outdoor, multi-purpose venue, LMCU Ballpark. For more player information, contact Dan Hasty at or 586.604.6755. For more information on Whitecaps and LMCU Ballpark visit or contact Steve VanWagoner at or 616.318.8949.

Images from this story

West Michigan Whitecaps manager Brayan Peña
West Michigan Whitecaps manager Brayan Peña

West Michigan Whitecaps manager Brayan Peña
West Michigan Whitecaps manager Brayan Peña


• Discuss this story on the Midwest League message board...

Midwest League Stories from January 6, 2022

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent West Michigan Whitecaps Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central