KINSTON— The Texas Rangers announced earlier this year it would be bringing Minor League Baseball back to nearby Kinston in 2017 via a new Class-A Advanced Carolina League franchise known as the Down East Wood Ducks.
The newest minor league franchise in the Tar Heel State has some local flare on its coaching staff. Leland native Steven Mintz was announced as the ball club’s pitching coach. Mintz returns to his home state after serving as the pitching coach for the Rangers Double-A affiliate, Frisco Roughriders, in 2016.
Mintz, 48, enters his fifth season in the Rangers organization. The former major leaguer has 16 years of experience as a minor league pitching instructor. He joined the Texas organization prior to the 2013 campaign, after 11 seasons as a pitching coach at various levels within the Minnesota Twins organization.
His coaching career began with Los Angeles in 2011, when he became the pitching coach for the organization’s short season clubs following his retirement midway through the campaign.
The right-hander pitched professionally for 12 seasons with Los Angeles (NL), Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles (AL) organizations after he was originally drafted as a catcher by the Dodgers out of North Brunswick High School in the 1990 MLB Draft.