Nevin returns to Detroit as Minors coach
Former Tigers utilityman to lead Double-A Erie club
Phil Nevin is returning to the Tigers organization, this time as a manager. A former top overall pick in the 1992 First-Year Player Draft, Nevin was officially announced Tuesday as the new skipper at Double-A Erie.
It'll be the first managerial post in affiliated Minor League baseball for Nevin, who managed last year with the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League. He succeeds Tom Brookens, who was promoted in October to be the Tigers' first-base coach.
Nevin gets his managerial chance with the same organization for which he played for three seasons. He was best known as the Cal State Fullerton slugger whom the Astros selected with the first pick in the 2002 Draft, but he became a Tigers prospect when Houston dealt him to Detroit in 1995 to complete the Mike Henneman trade.
Nevin spent parts of three seasons as a third baseman and corner outfielder in Detroit, batting .246 over 160 combined games for the Tigers with 24 doubles, 19 home runs and 66 RBIs. He also played 98 games in 1996 at what was then the Tigers' Double-A affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla. He batted .294 with 24 homers and 69 RBIs for the Suns.
The Tigers sent Nevin and catcher Matt Walbeck to the Angels in 1997, but not until Nevin landed with the Padres in 1999 did he finally find a regular role. He made the most of it with three 100-RBI seasons over seven years in San Diego, including 41 homers and 126 RBIs in 2001 to go with a career-best .306 average.
Nevin retired in 2006 with 208 career Major League homers along with 743 RBIs. He becomes the fourth consecutive ex-Tiger to manage at Erie, following Brookens, Walbeck and Duffy Dyer.
While Nevin is the one new face among the Tigers' Minor League managers, he'll have a familiar coaching staff. Hitting coach Glenn Adams and pitching coach Ray Burris will stay in Erie after being part of Brookens' staff for the past two seasons.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.