News and Rumors

Pittsburgh Pirates Add Four Minor League Coaches

PNC Park. Photo Credit: David Hague
Pittsburgh Pirates Add Four Minor League Coaches
John Dreker

The Pittsburgh Pirates have added four minor league coaches, filling the vacancies from their December announcement of the minor league field staffs. In addition to the hiring of Joel Hanrahan, the Pirates have also added Tom Signore, Drew Benes, Danilo Sanchez and Salvador Paniagua. The Pirates also made Kelson Brown the hitting coach at Bristol. He was a coach last year with Bristol, serving as the fielding instructor.

Tom Signore has an extensive track record of coaching. After playing two years of pro ball (1985-86), he began his coaching career in college. He joined the Montreal Expos as a minor league pitching coach in 1997 (back when Neal Huntington was a member of the Expos front office) and remained in the organization for five season. He then moved to the Florida Marlins in 2002 for two seasons. After not coaching in 2004, Signore spent nine seasons as a pitching coach with the Toronto Blue Jays. That was followed by one season with the New York Mets. After getting hit in the head by a thrown ball, Signore suffered post-concussion effects and was forced to sit out for a time. This is his first baseball job since that accident. He will serve as the pitching coach for the West Virginia Power.

Drew Benes played minor league ball for four seasons. The 28-year-old was a 35th round draft pick of the St Louis Cardinals in 2010. He is the son of Andy Benes, who won 155 Major League games over 14 seasons. Since his playing days ended in 2013, he has been working as a coach/instructor for STL Prospects Baseball. He will serve as the pitching coach for Bristol, and this is his first coaching job in pro ball.

Salvador Paniagua will serve the coaching role in Bristol held by Kelson Brown last year. Paniagua played 14 years in the minors without making it to the majors. He finished his playing days this past season in independent ball. Besides the long pro career, he also played seven seasons of winter ball in the Dominican. This is his first coaching job.

Danilo Sanchez will coach for Indianapolis. He played a total of 19 seasons in pro ball, including one season with the Pirates back in 2007 with Hickory. Most of his time was spent in foreign ball, finishing up his career in Italy this past season. Sanchez never advanced past Double-A. This is his first coaching job in pro ball.

The Pirates also assigned Greg Picart to coach in Altoona, Adam Godwin will be in Bradenton and Miguel Perez will be a coach for Morgantown. Last season, Perez held the role that Danilo Sanchez took over this year.

News and Rumors
John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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