The Spokane Indians announced on Tuesday that Kenny Hook was named manager of the club for 2019.
Hook, 43, becomes the seventh Indians manager since Spokane became an affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
“It’s exciting,” Hook said. “This shows the organization feels I’m capable of being more than a hitting coach, and it gives me an opportunity to grow into the role. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity.”
Hook has been working out of the Rangers’ extended spring training facility this season.
“As a hitting coach, you get very locked into the grind with your hitters,” Hook said. “I’ve always been drawn to the strategy within the game with fielders and pitching, and I’m looking forward to implementing that.”
The rest of the Indians’ coaching staff will be announced later.
Kenny Holmberg, last year’s skipper, returned to his previous position as minor league infield coordinator with the Rangers.
“Kenny did a great job and had success last year, winning a division title,” Hook said. “Spokane has a great baseball history and has one of the best fan bases in all of baseball. We hope to take it a step further this year to a league championship.”
Hook is a familiar face within the organization and around Avista Stadium. He served as hitting coach for the Indians in 2016, a season in which the team was second in the Northwest League in home runs (43) and on-base percentage (.342) and third in batting average at .258.
The past two seasons, Hook has continued to work in the Rangers’ farm system. In 2017, he coached with the Hickory Crawdads, the club’s Low-A affiliate, and in 2018 he was on the staff with the High-A Down East Wood Ducks.
He managed two seasons in independent baseball with the Kansas City T-Bones, compiling a record of 91-109, and coached nine years at Maple Woods (Missouri) Community College.
Hook, a native of Texas, was an infielder at Crowder College in Missouri and Benedictine College in Kansas.
He played five seasons of independent baseball as a second baseman and shortstop for Amarillo and Rio Grande Valley, where he compiled a career slash line of .277/.371/.343.
The Indians open the season in Vancouver on June 14. The home opener is June 21 against Boise.
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