After missing the 2020 season, the Minor Leagues will return in 2021. The Pittsburgh Pirates have completed their coaching assignments for the minor leagues.
At the end of the 2019 season, there were some shakeups within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Not only were Neal Huntington, Clint Hurdle, and Ray Searage let go, but some coaches on the minor league side of things were let go as well. The positions for 2020 were never finalized given the pandemic and the loss of a minor league season, but the coaching staffs have been finalized for the 2021 season. Per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the finalized staffs are as follows:
Brian Esposito will remain the manager of Triple-A Indianapolis, where he’s been the manager since 2018. He first joined the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2013 as a player/coach and has worked his way up the system as a manager. Joel Hanrahan will be the pitching coach, his first time in Indianapolis. After retiring from the game, Hanrahan became assistant pitching coach in 2017 for Class-A ball and was the pitching coach there in 2018 before becoming the pitching coach in Altoona in 2018. The former Pirates closer has worked closely with prospect Max Kranick over the last year.
Replacing Michael Ryan in Altoona will be Miguel Perez, a former catcher in the Pirates organization who played in Altoona. Jarrod Prugar of DK Pittsburgh Sports has mentioned that Perez is the first former Curve player to manage the team:
Hitting coach David Newhan was hired last offseason to be the hitting coach in Altoona after serving as a manager and infield coordinator in the Angels system. At Class High-A Greensboro, Kieran Mattison will manager after stops in the DSL and Low-A Bradenton. Blake Butler will be the development coach, a position that bridges together the coaching staffs and different technologies to mix in with the player development process.
Jonathan Johnston will manage manage in Bradenton, who was hired last season after being an assistant at UC San Diego. Jonny Tucker will serve as hitting coach (he’s been in the org since 2019) and former Pirate (spring training 2010) Fernando Nieve will be the pitching coach, a role he served in the GCL in 2019.
These coaches will be in charge of the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect development and there are some new and old faces. Some assignments differ, but for the 2021 season these are the coaches.