Fort Wayne, IN – The San Diego Padres announced Monday that TinCaps Manager José Valentín has been named as the major league club’s first base coach. Valentín, who led the team for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, compiled a 149-144 record. The Padres have not yet announced Fort Wayne’s next manager.
Valentín, named Fort Wayne’s 15th manager on November 10, 2011, totaled the third-most wins by a manger in the franchise’s 21-year history, trailing only Doug Dascenzo, who won a Midwest League title in 2009, and Randy Ready. Both Dascenzo and Ready were in Fort Wayne for three seasons. The 44-year-old Valentín had not coached or managed in Minor League Baseball prior to working in Fort Wayne.
He led the TinCaps to back-to-back playoff appearances, winning the Midwest League’s Eastern Division pennant in 2012, taking the team to the championship series for just the second time in franchise history. His 2012 campaign saw Yeison Asencio win the franchise’s first-ever Midwest League batting title, along with Adys Portillo and Matt Stites setting team records for the lowest ERA by a starter and reliever, respectively. Valentín was named the Low-A Manager of the Year by Baseball America following the 2012 season. In 2013 he helped oversee a starting pitching staff that featured four first-round draft choices, including San Diego’s top picks from both the 2011 and 2012 drafts.
“José experienced a great deal of success the last two seasons with our affiliate in Fort Wayne and his extensive background in the game will prove to be an asset to the club,” said Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager Josh Byrnes.
Since the franchise’s inception in 1993, several former managers and coaches have gone on to reach the major leagues. Most recently Willie Blair, who was Fort Wayne’s pitching coach in 2011 and 2012, was named the Padres bullpen coach prior to the 2013 season. Dascenzo, after working in Fort Wayne, moved to the Atlanta Braves organization, and in October was named as the team’s third-base coach. Ready ascended through the Padres minor-league ranks, eventually being named the team’s hitting coach in 2009. Mike Harkey, who was the Fort Wayne Wizards pitching coach in 2001 and 2003, is the current bullpen coach for the New York Yankees. Darren Balsley preceded Harkey as the pitching coach in Fort Wayne and has served as the Padres major-league pitching coach for the last 10 seasons. Craig Colbert, Fort Wayne’s manager in 2000, was the Padres bench coach in 2007 and 2008.