The Louisville Bats have announced their coaching staff for the 2024 season and most of the staff is returning from the 2023 season. Pat Kelly is back as the manager and he’s joined again by pitching coach Virgil Vasquez, hitting coach Alex Pelaez, and coach Mike Jacobs. Bryan LaHair is joining the staff this year as an additional coach.
Pat Kelly will manage the Bats for a 5th consecutive year. He’s been working in player development with the Cincinnati Reds since 2007, and also served as the bench coach in 2018 with the big league club. Kelly has managed for the GCL Reds, Billings Mustangs, Lynchburg Hillcats, Bakersfield Blaze, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Chattanooga Lookouts, and the Bats during his time in the organization. This year will mark the 33rd season he’s been a manager in minor league baseball. Kelly has a 1955-2090 career record as a minor league manager. His 1955 wins are 4th among active minor league managers.
Virgil Vasquez returns for his second season as the Louisville pitching coach. It’s also his second season in the Reds organization. Prior to joining Cincinnati he had worked for eight years as a pitching coach in the Minnesota Twins farm system at multiple levels. During his playing career he pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates where he worked as both a starter and a reliever.
Alex Pelaez is also returning to the coaching staff, serving as the hitting coach for the 4th season. He’s been with the Reds organization for 16 years, serving as a hitting coach for the GCL Reds, Billings Mustangs, Dayton Dragons, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Daytona Tortugas, and the Bats. He’s also served as the hitting coach for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. He played for the San Diego Padres in 2002, and spent 1998-2005 playing minor league baseball for the Padres, Angles, and Reds organizations.
Mike Jacobs is also back in Louisville as a coach. This is his third season with the Bats coaching staff. In 2022 he served as the game planning and outfield coach for Louisville. Last season he was simply listed as a coach – just like he is this upcoming season. Before joining the Bats coaching staff and Reds organization he spent five years working for the Miami Marlins in player development. As a player he spent seven years in the big leagues for the New York Mets, Florida Marlins, Kansas City Royals, and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bryan LaHair will be in Louisville for the first time. This will be his 7th year in the Reds organization. He began his time with Cincinnati as the hitting coach for Billings in 2018 and then took over as their manager in what turned out to be their final season as an affiliated professional team in 2019. He managed the ACL Reds in 2021 and then the Dayton Dragons in both 2022 and 2023. LaHair spent three seasons in the big leagues, including 2012 when he was a National League All-Star.