Diamondbacks sending coach Vince Harrison to Missoula, MT
When the Arizona Diamondbacks announced their minor league coaching staffs for the 2014 season on December 20, former Revolution third baseman Vince Harrison was ticketed for the rookie level Arizona Summer League as hitting coach. Turns out, he’s been re-assigned to the D-backs affiliate in the Pioneer League, the Missoula (Montana) Osprey, also classified as rookie ball.
Harrison’s most recent professional coaching job was with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he spent the 2012 season on the staff of the Class A West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League. His brother Josh Harrison remains with the Pirates, mostly in a Major League capacity at third base.
Harrison, 34, retired as a player after being named the 2011 Atlantic League Playoffs MVP, batting over .500 in the four-game Championship Series win over Long Island, capping York’s second consecutive title. He was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2001 following a collegiate career at Kentucky, where he was also a wide receiver on the football team in addition to baseball.
Looking at the grid of D-Backs coaches, there are some Atlantic League and local connections. The Triple-A Reno Hitting Coach is York County native, longtime Phillie and 17-season MLB vet Greg Gross. At Short-Season A Hillsboro in the Northwest League, the manager is former Major League and Long Island Ducks (2011) catcher J.R. House. House, 34, was promoted to that post for this season after serving as Hillsboro’s hitting coach last year. He’s quite the junior to his very famous pitching and hitting coach; 13-year MLB vet Doug Drabek (51) and 16-season MLBer Mark Grace (49).