Results tagged ‘ Dragons ’

How to train the Dragons

A couple of stories from the Dayton Daily News about the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and their new manager Delino DeShields.

#1 Will Dragons be more exciting this season?

A feistier approach is only one way in which DeShields should stand apart from Todd Benzinger, who was not asked back by the Cincinnati Reds after two seasons. Unlike Benzinger, DeShields sees managing in Dayton as a means to an end. He hopes to work his way back to the big leagues and knows he must be prepared to handle an entire roster, including pitchers.

Toward that end, DeShields said he recently informed Dragons pitching coach Tony Fossas that his days of determining when to make pitching changes are over. Fossas, in addition to training the arms, had done this under Benzinger.

“I don’t know how Todd Benzinger or (two-term Dragons manager) Donnie Scott did it, but the manager handles the pitching staff,” DeShields said flatly.


The Dragons, who last season finished 53-85 and endured a record 24-game home losing streak through the guts of the summer, will be taking delivery on a new set of players, many of whom DeShields managed as rookies in Billings, Mont., last season.

“We’ll be exciting,” DeShields said. “We’re going to run, hit-and-run, bunt. I’m not going to sit back and get beat.”

#2. ‘Next wave’ excites DeShields

According to Baseball America, the bible of the minor leagues, the Dayton Dragons could start the season with six of the Cincinnati Reds’ top 16 prospects and nine of the top 30.

Last season’s opening-day roster contained one player in the top 20. In 2009, the Dragons had none in the top 30.

It’s one reason new manager Delino DeShields, introduced at a Fifth Third Field press luncheon on Tuesday, can’t wait to get started.

“You had the (Chris) Heiseys and the (Joey) Vottos come through here,” DeShields said. “This is the next wave.”


Most intriguing is shortstop Billy Hamilton, ranked as the Reds’ No. 2 prospect behind pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who is already in the major leagues. Not since Jay Bruce in 2006 have the Dragons begun a season with a player this highly touted.

“He’s a humble, grounded kid who has a chance to be a game-changer,” DeShields said.

One scout called Hamilton, 20, the fastest player in professional baseball. The switch-hitter batted .318 last season and led the Reds organization with 48 stolen bases despite starting in mid-June.

The Rattlers go to Dayton this year, June 3-5.

DeShields in Dayton

The Dayton Dragons have a new manager.

New Dayton Dragons manager Delino DeShields stopped short of predicting a Midwest League championship — or even a playoff appearance — next season for the low-Class A team.

There was no mistaking his enthusiasm, however, shortly after the Dragons and parent Cincinnati Reds confirmed his appointment Monday.

“This group we’re going to start with is definitely going to be a good baseball team,” said DeShields, reached at his home in Atlanta. “I know things can happen, but it’s not going to be like last season. We’re going to get it poppin’ at Fifth Third Field right from the start.”

This will not be the first rodeo for DeShields.

DeShields, 41, managed for the first time in 2010, guiding the Reds’ rookie-league team in Billings, Mont. He emerged from a short list that included Ken Griffey Sr., the Dragons’ hitting coach last season. The Reds granted Griffey’s wish to manage, but are assigning him to Bakersfield, Calif., new home of their high-Class A affiliate.

Billings went 38-37 under DeShields in the Pioneer League last season.  The Timber Rattlers are down in Dayton June 3-5.

It was disappointing that they werent dying to have me back, but

The Dragons will have a new manager next season.

The Cincinnati Reds have told Todd Benzinger
he will not be brought back for a third season as manager of the Dayton
Dragons, their low-Class A affiliate.

learned his fate over a recent lunch with Terry Reynolds, the Reds’
director of player development and scouting, and said he wasn’t sure he
wanted to return anyway.

“It was disappointing that they weren’t dying to have me back,” Benzinger said, “but I was never begging to do this.

tough to manage at that level with all the things you have to do. What
made it really tough was the fact that we had trouble competing, to put
it mildly. And that’s frustrating to anybody who’s competitive.”

Delino DeShields and Ken Griffey, Sr. are mentioned as possible replacements.

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