Mets Low-A coaching staff filled with Phillies alumni
By Matt Rappa
Once Major League Baseball athletes’ playing days are over, their next chapter ventures toward different directions. Consider former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Larry Andersen and infielder Kevin Frandsen, who joined their broadcast team, or even current pitching coach Caleb Cotham — who is just five years removed from when he last threw a pitch in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds.
Three former Phillies make up the 2021 St. Lucie Mets coaching staff.
Three recently retired former Phillies players took their next career step — but for the Low-A affiliate of the team’s division-rival New York Mets. On Monday, the St. Lucie Mets announced their coaching staff for the 2021 season. Among them include former Phillies infielders Reid Brignac (manager) and Tommy Joseph (hitting coach), as well as former starting pitcher Jerome Williams (pitching coach).
Brignac, 35, played nine seasons in the majors from 2008 to 2016. He appeared in 37 games with the Phillies in 2014, slashing .222/.346/.646 with five doubles, one triple and home run each, 10 RBI, nine walks, and 33 strikeouts. The former second-round Tampa Bay Devil Rays draft pick was versatile fielding-wise in red pinstripes, logging 154 2/3 innings at the hot corner, seven innings at second base, and four at shortstop.
Joseph, 29, was infamously acquired from the San Francisco Giants in July 2012 as part of the trade that involved the Phillies parting ways with Hunter Pence — who would go on to win two World Series championships.
The former top catching prospect logged just 249 games in the majors for his MLB career, all with the Phillies as a first baseman. He slashed .247/.297/.460 with 42 doubles, 43 home runs, 116 RBI, 55 walks, and 204 strikeouts across 880 plate appearances. Joseph tried to revive his career in Korea in 2019, but he played in only 55 games and collected nine home runs and 36 RBI while slashing .274/.332/.426. In the 2020-21 Dominican Winter League, he logged only a single through 19 plate appearances (.053/.053/.053).
Williams, 39, played 11 seasons in the majors from 2003-07 and 2011-16. The Phillies selected the Hawaii native off waivers from the Texas Rangers in August 2014, and he would go on to make 42 appearances and 30 starts for them through 2015 — posting an 8-14 record and 4.84 ERA.
Brignac, Joseph, and Williams are not the only former Phillies players who are currently coaching in the Mets organization. Brian Schneider — who caught 122 games in red pinstripes from 2010 to 2012 — is their major-league field coordinator and catching coach.
As long as there is passion, there is always something in life for everyone.