Less than a month ago, Baseball America named Drew Saylor as their minor league manager of the year. He led Rancho Cucamonga to an 83-57 record during the regular season, then they took the California League title. The Pirates took notice of the work from the 34-year-old Saylor and have hired him in a dual role. He will work as the Assistant Minor League Hitting Coordinator until mid-June, where he will then take over the role as the new Morgantown manager.
Saylor was drafted in the 13th round by the Florida Marlins in 2006 out of Kent State. He played a total of five seasons in the minors, spending the final three years in independent ball. After retiring as a player in 2011, he became a hitting coach in the minors for the Colorado Rockies. That was followed by two seasons (2013-14) managing their Tri-City affiliate, then these last three years he has been the High-A manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In between those two managing stints, he served as the hitting coach in 2015 for Modesto, the High-A affiliate of the Rockies. He also has two years of experience as an assistant coach at the college level.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.