The Hickory Crawdads' field staff for the 2013 season was announced Thursday by the Texas Rangers, including a new leading man.
Former 'Dads player Corey Ragsdale takes over at the helm as the team's field manager, replacing veteran Bill Richardson. The 30-year-old Ragsdale becomes the 13th manager in Crawdads' history.
Originally a second round draft pick by the New York Mets in 2001, Ragsdale eventually made his way to Hickory in 2009. He played in 17 games for Hickory, mainly as a relief pitcher.
Prior to being named Crawdads manager, Ragsdale spent the past five seasons managing in the Texas Rangers organization, including leading their Arizona League rookie affiliate to a championship last summer.
Richardson spent three seasons with Hickory, becoming the franchise's all-time wins leader in 2012. He completes his Crawdads career with a 190-155 record, including back-to-back postseason berths in 2010 and 2011.
Ragsdale is joined on the staff by pitching coach Ryan O'Malley and hitting coach Justin Mashore, both of whom also enter their first seasons in Hickory.
O'Malley takes over for Storm Davis, who is now a part of the Chicago Cubs organization.
Strength and conditioning coach Wade Lamont will also enter his first year with Hickory.
Returning to the team's staff in 2013 will be infield coach Humberto Miranda and athletic trainer Jacob Newburn.
The Crawdads kick off their 2013 season at L.P. Frans Stadium on Thursday, April 4 against the Greensboro Grasshoppers at 7 p.m.