The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Tuesday that former major-league infielder Mike Benjamin will manage the Kane County Cougars in 2016.
Benjamin replaces Mark Grudzielanek, who was promoted to assistant hitting coordinator for the Diamondbacks farm system. “Grudzie” led the Cougars to an 84-54 record in 2015; Kane County’s .609 winning percentage was fourth-best among all full-season Minor League Baseball teams.
Benjamin played in parts of 13 seasons in the majors, including seven years with the San Francisco Giants. He was an assistant coach for the Arizona State University baseball team from 2010 to 2014 before serving as manager of the Diamondbacks’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League.
Kane County’s new hitting coach is Jonathan Mathews, who is entering his third year in the Diamondbacks organization. He was the hitting coach for the High-A Visalia Rawhide in 2015, and served in that same capacity for the Midwest League’s South Bend Silver Hawks in 2014.
New Cougars pitching coach Rich Sauveur will be in his first year as a Diamondbacks coach. His 18-year playing career included 34 major-league appearances. He did not play in the Midwest League, but was pitching coach of the Beloit Snappers in 2003 and 2004.
Cougars coach Shawn Roof also is a first-year coach in the Diamondbacks organization, though he previously worked in various coaching capacities elsewhere in Minor League Baseball and at the collegiate level.