Rick Magnante will return as manager of the Vermont Lake Monsters for the third straight season, the New York-Penn League team and their Major League affiliate Oakland Athletics announced today. Pitching coach Craig Lefferts and hitting coach Lloyd Turner, both in their first season with Vermont, will join Magnante on the Lake Monsters field staff.
Magnante, who has skippered the Lake Monsters since Vermont became an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics in 2011, will be the first manager in the team's 20-year history to spend three seasons at the helm of the Lake Monsters. Magnante led Vermont to a 39-35 record and the Stedler Division title in 2011 as the Lake Monsters made their first post-season appearance since 1996, while managing three first-round picks (Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson, Matt Olsen) and two second-round selections (Bruce Maxwell, Nolan Sanburn) during the 2012 campaign.
Prior to coming to Vermont, Magnante managed the Athletics short-season team in Vancouver for five seasons (2006-10). Last September after the 2012 Lake Monsters season, Magnante managed the South African National team in a World Baseball Qualifying Tournament in Jupiter, Florida. While South Africa, which Magnante managed in the 2006 and 2009 WBC's, did not qualify for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, they did beat France 5-2 for the country's first-ever win in the tournament.
Lefferts will begin his first season as pitching coach for the Lake Monsters, but his 11th season as a pitching coach in the Athletics organization. He spent the past two years (2011-12) with the Single-A Stockton Ports after seven years (2004-10) at Vancouver, where he was on Magnante's staff for five years, and one season (2003) with the Double-A Midland Hounds.
Lefferts pitched for six teams during a 12-year Major League career (1983-1994), going 58-72 with 101 saves and a 3.43 ERA in 696 career games. A ninth-round selection of the Chicago Cubs in 1980, Lefferts had 10 saves and a 2.13 ERA for the NL West champion San Diego Padres in 1984. He tossed 10 scoreless innings in six post-season appearances that season, including wins in the final two NLCS games and the save in the Padres only World Series win. He also pitched in the 1987 and 1989 post-seasons for San Francisco.
Turner begins his first season as a coach in the Oakland organization after playing 11 seasons in the Minor and Independent Leagues. A 16th-round pick out of Kennesaw State University in the 2002 MLB draft by the Athletics, Turner spent six seasons in Oakland's minor league system including 36 games with Triple-A Sacramento in 2007. Turner then played three years (2008-10) with Lancaster and two years (2011-12) with Camden in the independent Atlantic League.
Casey Myers, who served as the Lake Monsters hitting coach the past two seasons, will join 2011 Vermont pitching coach John Wasdin on the field staff for the Single-A Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League. Beloit is replacing the Burlington Bees as Oakland's Low Single-A affiliate.
The Lake Monsters 2013 season begins on June 17th at Tri-City with Vermont's home opener on Thursday, June 20th vs. Connecticut at historic Centennial Field.
---Vermont Lake Monsters Press Release---
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