DeFrancesco named Oklahoma City manager

Tony DeFrancesco, who has won three Pacific Coast League championships as a manager and served as a Major League coach with the Oakland Athletics, will join the Astros organization as manager of the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks in 2011.

DeFrancesco guided the Sacramento River Cats to the 2010 PCL Pacific Conference Southern Division title with a record of 79-65. In seven seasons as manager with Sacramento, his teams won six division titles and league championships in 2003, ’04, and ’07.

Former Major League All-Star Burt Hooten  keeps his same role and will serve as the RedHawks pitching coach in 2011. Same with Keith Bodie, a veteran of more than 30 years in professional baseball, who will be the RedHawks hitting coach. Mike Freer will serve as trainer.

The 2011 season will be the 17th year as a manager for DeFrancesco. He brings a career record of 1100-953 (.536) to Oklahama City since beginning his career as a manager in 1994. His teams have qualified for the playoffs eight times and have won division titles in each of his last three seasons as manager. He spent the 2008 season as Oakland’s third base coach.

DeFrancesco was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox after being selected in the 1984 draft out of Seton Hall University. A catcher during his playing days, he spent eight years in the Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds organizations before retiring as a player to enter the coaching ranks. All 19 previous years of his career as a manager, coach, or instructor in professional baseball have come in the Oakland organization.

Hooten, the Most Valuable Player of the 1981 National League Championship Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has spent the last six seasons as the pitching coach of the Round Rock Express in the PCL. He was the Astros’ Major League pitching coach for parts of five seasons from 2000-’04. He previously served as the pitching coach for four seasons at his alma mater, the University of Texas.

Hooten spent 15 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers, posting a career record of 151-136. His best seasons came in 1978, when he went 19-10 for the Dodgers and finished second in the N.L. Cy Young Award voting, and 1981, when he was selected to play in the All-Star Game and finished third in the league in ERA. Hooten won at least 18 games three times and won four World Series games.

Bodie enters his fourth season in the Astros organization and 36th year in professional baseball in 2011 as the RedHawks hitting coach. He began his career as a player in the New York Mets organization in 1974 after being drafted out of South Shore High School in Brooklyn, New York. He spent six years with the Mets, then three years in the Astros organization before retiring as a player in 1982. He accepted a coaching position in the Astros organization in 1983 and began serving as a manager in 1986.

In 14 years as a Minor League manager with the Astros, Giants, Mariners, Royals, and Nationals organizations, Bodie’s clubs have won seven division titles. He has also served as the Minor League hitting coordinator for the Giants and has worked as an outfield/baserunning instructor for the Royals. Bodie was the hitting coach at Round Rock in 2010.

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