Revolution hire Paul Fletcher as pitching coach
The York Revolution has hired Paul Fletcher as the team’s new pitching coach, it was announced today by manager Mark Mason. Fletcher joins returning third base coach Enohel Polanco on Mason’s coaching staff for the 2014 season.
Fletcher brings a wealth of experience to the Revolution, having worked in baseball in many capacities throughout the course of his career, which has included roles as a player, pitching coach, manager, and for many years as an accomplished pitching instructor.
Fletcher’s professional career began in 1992 when he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 24th round of the Major League draft, after a decorated college career at the University of Tennessee where he was an all-SEC selection in 1991, breaking school records for wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched. After initially breaking into the pro ranks in the Royals farm system, the left-hander pitched for Ohio Valley of the Frontier League, earning a contract from there with the Chicago White Sox organization. Fletcher later returned to the Frontier League where the former starter pitched for the Springfield Capitals as a closer to cap his five-year playing career, before making the transition to pitching coach with that team in 1997.
In three years as pitching coach in Springfield, Fletcher helped guide the Capitals to two league championships while producing future Major League pitchers Jason Simontacchi and Matt Duff. Fletcher also spent one season as manager in Springfield in 2000, winning a first half title.
Fletcher left professional baseball for a time to open the Norcross Sports Training Academy in Norcross, GA. During that time, he also coached some of the country’s most successful travel teams and high school teams. As pitching coach at The Lovett School, Fletcher’s teams won two state titles and finished runner-up twice, while producing four area Pitchers of the Year and one state Player of the Year, leading the region in team ERA, and sending 32 players to the college level, 22 of which were pitchers.
Fletcher also helped start the Sunbelt Collegiate Wood Bat League in which his teams have won a pair of championships, while producing eight players that went on to be drafted, six of whom were pitchers.
Those avenues have led the 44-year-old to become one of the most sought after pitching instructors in the southeastern part of the country. In addition, Fletcher has continued to maintain strong ties in professional baseball as a part-time scout for the New York Mets, having successfully signed over 15 players to Major League contracts.
As a principal owner of Norcross Sports Training Academy, Fletcher has built his business to a level where he is now able to focus on a return to professional baseball during the season.
“I’m thrilled to be getting back on the field at the pro level,” stated Fletcher. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now. I’ve been doing the scouting side of it here in the Atlanta area, but I feel I’m better suited to be on the field. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m looking forward to being in York.”
Fletcher’s background is similar to that of his manager’s. Revs skipper Mark Mason also came to York following a successful path through the Frontier League as a pitching coach and manager, as well as becoming a sought after instructor himself.
“Paul is an experienced pitching coach and he’s an excellent teacher,” commented Mason. “He is a great fit for what we need. I’m looking forward to him working with our pitching staff. If I was pitching in York this year, I’d be excited to have the opportunity to work with him. He will be a very positive addition.”
Fletcher is well-connected throughout professional baseball, and even welcomes several current Major and Minor League players who work out at his facility, including Jeff Francoeur, Nick Swisher, Jordan Schafer, Alex Wood, Justin Maxwell, and Minor League Player of the Year Byron Buxton.
Having helped players at all levels throughout his career, Fletcher is excited about the opportunity to do the same with the Revolution.
“I want to help our players get that next opportunity and get the most out of it. My goal is to make it work for them, as well as for York, and help us win ballgames at the same time.”
Fletcher resides in Alpharetta, GA with his wife Jennifer and son Braden.