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Donnelly to manage K-Mets in 2019

From staff reports • Apr 2, 2019 at 7:32 PM

KINGSPORT — The 2019 edition of the Kingsport Mets will have an all-new staff featuring a former major league and World Series champion coach, a former major league pitcher and a former K-Mets player.

Rich Donnelly is the K-Mets’ manager, Jerome Williams the pitching coach and Rafael Fernandez the hitting coach.

Donnelly, a former major league coach, begins his first year with Kingsport’s Appalachian League affiliate of the New York Mets but his fifth with the organization. He spent 2011-2013 as manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Donnelly coached in the majors for 29 seasons, with the Mariners, Dodgers, Brewers, Rockies, Pirates, Rangers and, most notably the Marlins, where under manager Jim Leyland, he won a World Series championship in 1997.

Before his major league coaching days, Donnelly coached in the minor leagues for the Texas Rangers. He was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins in 1967 as a catcher and played four years in the Twins organization.

Williams, a former major league pitcher, begins his first season in the Mets organization and first as a pitching coach after retiring as a player in 2018. He pitched 11 years in the majors, spending time with the Giants, Angels, Cubs, Cardinals, Rangers, Nationals and Astros. He compiled a 52-66 record with a 4.59 ERA in 236 career games.

Williams was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the 1999 first-year player draft.

Former K-Mets outfielder Fernandez begins his first season as Kingsport’s hitting coach and fourth with the Mets organization. He spent the previous three seasons as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast and DSL Mets.

Fernandez was originally signed by the Mets in 2006 and played seven seasons as an outfielder in the minors, including 2008 in Kingsport. With the K-Mets, Fernandez batted .259 with four home runs and 31 RBIs.

Stephen Gaylor begins his first season as the Kingsport development coach and first overall in the Mets organization. He played in the Atlanta Braves organization from 2014-18, appearing at every minor league level from rookie ball to Triple-A.

Gaylor graduated from Berry College in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, also playing three seasons for the Vikings.

Anthony Olivieri begins his first season as the K-Mets’ athletic trainer after spending last year in the same role with the Gulf Coast team and the previous year with the Mets’ Dominican Sumer League teams. Olivieri graduated with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a minor in health education from Kean University in New Jersey.

Seth Gregorich, in his third year with the Mets organization, begins his first season as Kingsport’s performance coach. He previously worked the last two years in the same role with the Gulf Coast team. Prior to joining the Mets, Gregorich was the strength and conditioning coach for Clearwater of the Florida State League in 2015 and 2016. In 2014, he was the strength and conditioning coach for the GCL Tigers. Gregorich graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance with an emphasis in coaching from Bellevue University in Nebraska.

(For more information on the 2019 Kingsport Mets season, season tickets and sponsorship opportunities please contact the Kingsport Mets office at (423) 224-2626, email at [email protected] or log on to www.kmets.com.)

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