Former Boston Red Sox player and skipper Butch Hobson will manage the Kane County Cougars in 2017, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday.
Hobson brings 28 seasons of managerial experience to Kane County, including three years as skipper of the Red Sox (1992-94) and the past 17 seasons as an independent-league manager (mostly in the Atlantic League). He managed the Lancaster Barnstormers the past six years, leading the team to the playoffs four times, the finals twice, and the league championship in 2014. This year will be his first with the Diamondbacks organization.
Hobson played in parts of eight seasons in the major leagues — six with the Red Sox and one each for the California Angels and the New York Yankees. His best seasons in the majors came in a three-year stretch from 1977 to 1979, during which time he averaged 25 HR and 95 RBI for the Red Sox.
He did not play in the Midwest League, but his son K.C. Hobson did. K.C. played in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system from 2010 to 2016, reaching Double-A before being released late last May. He finished the 2016 season playing for his father in Lancaster before signing a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox this offseason.
K.C. Hobson played 279 games for the 2010-12 Lansing Lugnuts, cumulatively batting .263 with 16 HR and 148 RBI.
The Cougars coaching staff will be rounded out by pitching coach Rich Sauveur, hitting coach Jose Amado, and fourth coach Darrin Garner. Sauveur is the only returning member of the Cougars staff, after coaching Kane County pitchers to a Midwest League-best 3.06 ERA in his first season with the team last year.
Amado begins his second season in the Diamondbacks organization after serving as hitting coach for the short-season Hillsboro Hops last year. He played professional baseball for 14 seasons, including seven years in affiliated ball. He spent two seasons in the Midwest League, splitting 1996 between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Lansing Lugnuts — who, at the time, were affiliated with the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals, respectively — and all of 1997 with Lansing. He batted .326 with 14 HR and 128 RBI in 179 MWL games.
Garner also is entering his second season with the Diamondbacks, after managing the rookie-level AZL D-backs in 2016. His seven-year playing career in the minors included part of the 1985 season in the Midwest League. He batted .171 in 47 games with the Burlington Rangers.