The Phillies recently announced their list of managers and coaches for the upcoming minor league season. In our final installment of our look at the minor league system, we examine the managers who will guide the Phillies prospects in 2020.
Gary Jones will return for a third season as Boss Hogg at Lehigh Valley. Jones has 29 years of managing and coaching experience in both the minor and major leagues. Jones is 600-539 as a Triple-A manager, including a 150-130 record in two seasons with Lehigh Valley. He was the third base coach on Joe Maddon’s Cubs staff and has a World Series ring from his time in Chicago.
It’s worth noting that two former IronPigs will be managing against their former team in the International League this season. Andy Tracy, who played both in Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley will manage the Columbus Clippers, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. After ending his time as a player, Tracy served as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator before joining the Indians as the hitting coach at Columbus in 2019. Wes Helms, never played in the Phillies organization, but served as the IronPigs bench coach in Jones’ first season back in 2018. Tracy managed one season for the Phillies at Williamsport, while Helms is undertaking his first managerial job at Triple-A Charlotte (Chicago White Sox).
In Reading, Shawn Williams returns for a second season as the team’s manager after guiding them to an Eastern League best 80-59 record and a second-half East Division title in 2019. The 36-year old Williams managed two seasons with Clearwater and two with Lakewoood prior to joining Reading last season. He started his minor league managerial career with Williamsport in 2014. His dad, Jimy Williams, was a major league manager for Houston and Boston and was the bench coach for the Phillies in 2007 and 2008. In 1999, Jimy Williams was the American League Manager of the Year.
Pat Borders, the MVP of the 1992 World Series, spent five seasons as the Williamsport Crosscutters manager, but will take over at Clearwater for the 2020 season. Over 17 major league seasons, Borders played for nine different teams and was on the Toronto Blue Jays roster when they were World Champions in both 1992 and 1993, beating the Phillies for the ’93 title. Over his career, Borders hit .288 and threw out 31-percent of would-be base stealers.
Australian Chris Adamson, 31, joins the Phillies organization to take over the helm with the Lakewood BlueClaws. Adamson also serves as the manager of the Adelaide Giants in the Australian Baseball League and is also a coach on the Australian National Team. In college, Adamson was an All-American catcher at Angelo State in Texas, but never played minor league ball in the states. He did spend five seasons playing in the Australian Baseball League.
After losing the team’s leader in wins as a manager – Pat Borders, 189 wins – the Crosscutters will have another former catcher take over as manager in 2020. Milver Reyes, who played in Williamsport in 2003 and 2004 and collected the game-winning hit in the deciding game of the 2003 NYPL Championship for the ‘cutters, takes over this year for Borders. Reyes, spent 11 seasons in the Pirates organization as a player and another seven as a minor league coach before becoming a coach at Low-A Lakewood in 2018. Last season, Reyes managed the Phillies GCL West team.
Roly DeArmas returns for his 17th season overall guiding a Phillies GCL team, including 14 straight seasons. He also managed at Williamsport and Clearwater in the Phillies organization. DeArmas will manage the GCL East team while Bobby Wernes will manage the West team. Wernes is just 25 and was a minor league player through the 2018 season, spending two seasons in the Houston organization and two more in the Colorado organization, reaching as high as Double-A ball. Wernes spent last season as a coach on the Phillies GCL West team.