(Billings Mustangs release)
BILLINGS - The National League Cincinnati Reds announced today that Bryan LaHair will return to Billings in 2020 for his third overall season with the Mustangs and second as field manager. LaHair compiled a 39-37 (.513) regular season record in 2019 and guided the Mustangs to a playoff appearance, losing in the Norhern Division Championship Series to the eventual Pioneer League Champion Idaho Falls Chukars.
Joining LaHair in Billings is pitching coach Forrest Herrmann, hitting coach Jordan Stouffer, bench coach Julio Morillo, athletic trainer Josh Hobson and strength coach Kyle Laughlin. Morillo and Hobson are familiar faces to Mustangs fans, having been members of the Mustangs in 2013 and 2018, respectively, while Herrmann, Stouffer and Laughlin arrive in Billings for their first season as membersof the Mustangs coaching staff. In 2019, Morillo served as the Baseball Operations Assistant and Spanish Translator for the MLB Reds and Hobson was the athletic trainer for the Greeneville Reds of the Appalachian League. Herrmann, Stouffer and Laughlin enter their first season in the Reds organization.
"We couldn't be more pleased that Bryan is returning to manage the team again this season," said Gary Roller, Mustangs General Manager. " He established himself as an effective leader and had a successful season in 2019, and we expect much of the same fromhim in 2020. We believe this group, with all of their previous playing and coaching experiences, will provide the younger players with the type of quality leadership, direction and instruction that is so very important in the early stages of their professional development."
LaHair, 37, was selected by Seattle in the 39th round of the June 2002 first-year player draft. The 2012 National League All-Star played in parts of three Major League seasons, including stints with the Mariners (2008) and Chicago Cubs (2011-2012). LaHair was named MVP of the Pacific Coast League in 2011 and received the Joe Bauman Award after leading all minor league players in home runs. In 2013, he played for the Fukuoka Soft Bank Hawks in the Japan Pacific League.
"We're thrilled about the coaching staff that will be with the Mustangs this season," noted Reds Senior Director, Player Development Eric Lee. "In so many ways, it is representative of our Player Development staff as a whole - they possess a combination of experience and technical acumen, along with great passion for helping players. Under their leadership, we're confident the Mustangs will play an exciting brand of baseball and will represent the Reds and the Billings community well on and off the field."
The 2020 season marks the 68th season that the Mustangs franchise has called Billings home and the 47th consecutive season that the club has served as the rookie affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The partnership between the Mustangs and Reds, which began in 1974, is the longest running affiliation in the Pioneer League and one of the longest in all professional baseball.
The Mustangs open the 2020 season at Dehler Park on Friday, June 19 when they play host to the Great Falls Voyagers in the first game of a 3-game series. Game time for Opening Day is scheduled for 6:35 pm MST.