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Get to know the minor league coaching staffs

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The Royals welcomed several new minor league coaches into the organization, and promoted a few others. Get to know them all here.

Werner Park in Omaha, the Triple-A affiliate city of the Royals since 1969.
Werner Park in Omaha, the Triple-A affiliate city of the Royals since 1969.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

The two best days of the year will soon be upon us. The best, of course, is MLB Opening Day. The Royals get the spotlight, with the Sunday night game on April 3, and all the pageantry the defending champions enjoy. The following Thursday is the second-best day on the calendar - the start of the minor league season.

The Royals kept the same affiliations with the same towns and cities as last season, but made some coaching changes throughout the organization. Here's a bit about the staffs at each level.

Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers

Manager: Brian Poldberg
This will be Brian Poldberg's third year managing the Chasers, after previously managing at AA Northwest Arkansas for six years. Poldberg led Omaha to a national title in 2014, his first year as the skipper. Poldberg's hiring was a bit like a homecoming; he lives in nearby Carter Lake, IA.

Hitting coach: Tommy Gregg
Tommy Gregg has been with the Royals organization since 2007, and has become a fixture in the first-base box in Omaha. 2016 will be his 8th year with the Storm Chasers. Gregg played parts of nine Major League seasons at all three outfield positions, as well as first base.

Pitching coach: Andy Hawkins
Andy Hawkins is new to the Royals organization. He served as the bullpen coach for the Texas Rangers from 2008 through 2015. Hawkins pitched for the Padres, Yankees, and Athletics in a 10-year MLB career.

Ballpark: Werner Park

Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Manager: Vance Wilson
When Brian Poldberg was promoted to Omaha for the 2014, Vance Wilson came up from the lower levels to replace him at Northwest Arkansas. Wilson was a catcher, debuting with the Mets in 1999. He stayed with the Mets until he was traded to Detroit in 2005.

Hitting coach: Brian Buchanan
Buchanan's playing career ended after 2009, and he has been moving through the ranks as a coach in the Royals organization ever since. Buchanan, like Wilson, is a former New York Met. For a brief time in 2004, they were both in the Majors with the Mets.

Pitching coach: Steve Luebber
Steve Luebber has a decade-long tenure in the Kansas City organization, including nine years as pitching coach for Wilmington. In his MLB career that spanned the 1970s, Luebber pitched for the Twins, Blue Jays, and Orioles. He and his family live in Joplin, MO.

Ballpark: Arvest Ballpark

High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks

Manager: Jamie Quirk
Jamie Quirk, a former catcher for the Royals (and seven other teams), takes over Brian Buchanan's old job as manager of the Blue Rocks. Quirk served as a major league bench coach and bullpen coach for the Royals from 1994 to 2001. He departed for coaching gigs with several other organizations before being brought back to the Royals this winter.

Hitting coach: Abraham Nunez
Abraham O. Nunez is back for his second year as Wilmington's hitting coach. Nunez made his MLB debut in 1997 for Pittsburgh, where he stayed for eight seasons. He then played the Cardinals, the Phillies, and very briefly in 2008, the Mets.

Pitching coach: Charlie Corbell
Charlie Corbell is a new addition to the Royals coaching family. A right-handed pitcher, Corbell was drafted by the Giants in 1983. He topped out at Triple-A, and retired from pitching after the 1989 season. He spent the 2015 season as the minor league pitching coordinator for the Miami Marlins.

Ballpark: Frawley Stadium

Single-A Lexington Legends

Manager: Omar Ramirez
Lexington will retain manager Omar Ramirez for a second season. He has coached in the Kansas City system since 2009, previously managing at Idaho Falls and serving as hitting coach at Idaho Falls and Burlington.

Hitting coach: Damon Hollins
Damon Hollins is also returning in the same role as he served for the Legends last season. Hollins played all over as an outfielder in the 1990s and 2000s. He was an Omaha Royal as a 34-year-old in 2008.

Pitching coach: Mitch Stetter
Mitch Stetter is a new addition to Lexington's staff, after coaching the pitchers at rookie-ball level last year. Stetter, a lefty, was drafted by the Brewers in 2003, and spent time in the Majors with Milwaukee every season from 2007-2011.

Ballpark: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Rookie Burlington Royals (short season)

Manager: Scott Thorman
Scott Thorman spent part of his playing career in the Royals system, and is heading into his second season as Burlington's manager. Thorman played in the Majors for the Braves in 2006 and 2007, splitting time between first base and left field.

Hitting coach: Jesus Azuaje
Jesus Azuaje returns to the same position he held for the 2015 season. He was a middle infielder in the farm systems of the Indians, Mets, Twins, and Tigers before spending several years in indy ball. He finished his playing career with two seasons in the Italian Baseball League.

Pitching coach: Carlos Martinez
Carlos Martinez was a left-hander drafted by the Royals in the late 90s. He was also the B-Royals' pitching coach in 2015.

Ballpark: Burlington Athletic Stadium

Rookie Idaho Falls Chukars (short season)

Manager: Justin Gemoll
Much like their colleagues in Burlington, the coaching staff for Idaho Falls is the same as 2015's. Justin Gemoll was a second- and third baseman, and spent his entire career in the Royals system, topping out in Omaha in 2005.

Hitting coach: Andre David
Andre David was an OF/1B who spent most of his career with the Minnesota Twins' organization in the 1980s. He served as hitting coach for Kansas City in 2013, along with Jack Maloof. The duo was reassigned after a short time, in favor of George Brett.

Pitching coach: Jeff Suppan
Jeff Suppan's MLB spanned 17 seasons and eight teams. He pitched for the Royals from 1998 til his departure to free agency after the 2002 season. He was the MVP of the NLCS in 2006, when his Cardinals team went on to win the World Series. After his pro career, he coached at his California high school until the Royals brought him back to the fold.

Ballpark: Melaleuca Field

Someday, one of these men could manage the Royals, and hopefully they could add another of those trophies with all the flags.