The Durham Bulls don’t just provide a stepping stone to the major leagues for players. Sometimes coaches get called up, too.
On Tuesday, one of those promotions became a reality.
Durham Bulls pitching coach Kyle Snyder was named to replace departing Rays’ pitching coach Jim Hickey. Snyder, 40, was the Bulls pitching coach since 2014 when he replaced Neil Allen. Snyder’s been in the Rays’ organization for the past seven seasons.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity,” Snyder told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m excited about the challenge. My main goal is just to build off the environment and philosophy that (Hickey) created here the last 10 years, and it led to some of the most successful pitching staffs in baseball. Definitely, enormous shoes to fill.”
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Snyder guided a Bulls’ pitching staff that saw three pitchers reach double-digit wins this season as Durham won its third Governor’s Cup championship of the International League and won its second Triple-A national championship as well.
Snyder, who is from Sarasota, Florida, was the first-round draft pick (seventh overall, 1999) of the Kansas City Royals. He played five big league seasons that saw him appear in 93 games, including 46 relief appearances with the 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
In college, Snyder pitched three seasons for the University of North Carolina. He was originally drafted by the Rays out of high school in the June 1996 draft but chose to play instead for the Tar Heels.
In another move by the Rays, Charlie Montoyo was promoted from third-base coach to bench coach. Montoyo managed the Bulls manager for eight seasons before joining the Rays three years ago.