The Texas Rangers didn’t take long in replacing Doug Brocail, hiring Julio Rangel as their new pitching coach at the end of last week.
The Texas Rangers kept with their idea of hiring fresh blood to their coaching staff deciding on first time Major League coach, Julio Rangel, to take the helm of their pitching staff. Rangel replaces Doug Brocail whose contract wasn’t renewed after 3 seasons in charge.
Rangel, as a player, was signed out of Panama by the New York Yankees back in 1993. Spending 7 seasons in the minors, all with the Yankees, Rangel’s highest level reached was Double-A in 2000 before moving into coaching. As a coach, Rangel has spent over a decade working in the minors spending time with both the Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants organizations. Most recently he was the minor league pitching coordinator for the San Francisco Giants.
There are two big arguments in favor of hiring Julio Rangel, who admittedly, has almost zero Major League experience and joins a staff filled with first time Major League coaches.
Young Pitching Development
The Texas Rangers have long had a problem with developing young pitching within their organization. The Rangers have yet to develop a legitimate Major League starter through their farm system and into the big league rotation. The closest examples they’ve got are Martin Perez and Chi-Chi Gonzalez who nobody would consider really quality starters.
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With the influx of young pitching talent they’ve had over the past couple of seasons, now is a more crucial time than ever to have the coaches in place that can develop players from raw talent, to legitimate big league starters. While prospect Cole Winn and Owen White may be years away from the bigs, Texas a few youngsters sitting in Double-A who are at the crucial next step between being a decent starter and somebody who can front a rotation, i.e. Taylor Hearn.
Ability To Communicate
One of the needs stressed by General Manager, Jon Daniels, when the team embarked on this overhaul of the coaching staff was the need for improved communication. Rumors had leaked out in the latter half of the season that communication between front office, coaches and players was acting as a hinderance to the franchise.
Rangel offers an ability to improve communication especially with the Rangers’ Latin American players of whom Texas has plenty. Rangel, as aforementioned, is a native of Panama and has also spent time as the Latin America Player Cultural/Baseball Mental Skills Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians and also was instrumental in the development of the Indians player academy in the Dominican Republic according to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.
Overall, this addition is a signal of the intentions of Jon Daniels to reshape the Texas Rangers organization. While the new coaches brought in, including new manager, Chris Woodward, are all relatively inexperienced, they all have a strong focus on player development and hopes are, this can help reset the organization from the top down and turn the franchise back into a perennial playoff contender.