THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2008
JU names Todd Claus assistant baseball coach
Todd Claus, an advance scout for the Boston Red Sox the past two years and a veteran with 26 years of baseball experience, has been named the new assistant coach at Jacksonville University by head coach Terry Alexander.
As an advance scout, Claus reported directly to the general manager, field manager, coaches and players regarding the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. He was responsible for communicating with players about strategy, directing team meetings, throwing batting practice and scheduling personal travel. During that time, the Red Sox made the playoffs each year including a World Series title over the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
“The Red Sox are the epitome of class throughout the entire organization and that all starts with Theo Epstein and Terry Francona, who have always been consummate professionals and have treated me extremely well,” Claus said. “The major league staff, players and all of the minor league operations -including the field staff - has also been amazingly supportive. There are several players I was lucky enough to have the privilege to coach in the minor leagues and I will always carry each of them with me. I am truly sad to leave such a tremendous organization; however, I am truly excited for the next stage in my baseball career and plan to take the ride of my life.”
Before joining the scouting department, Claus spent three years as a manager in the Red Sox’s minor league system (2004-06) including two seasons with the Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A) and a year with the Sarasota Red Sox (High-A). In his two seasons in Portland, Claus made the playoffs each year and won an Eastern League title to earn Baseball America’s Minor League “Manager of the Year” honors in 2006. During that time, he also served as Futures Game manager of the World Team during the 2005 (Pittsburgh) and 2006 (Detroit) Major League Baseball All-Star Games, managed the Eastern League All-Star Team for the 2005 and 2006 Double-A All-Star Games and managed current New York Yankees Joba Chamberlin and Ian Kennedy in the Hawaiian League during the fall of 2006.
Among the other current major leaguers to be tutored by Claus while in the Red Sox system are AL “Rookie of the Year” and all-star Dustin Pedroia, all-star Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hanson, Brandon Moss, David Murphy, NL “Rookie of the Year” and all-star Hanley Ramirez (Florida Marlins) and Anibal Sanchez (Florida Marlins).
“After much deliberation, I have decided to pursue a coaching career at the collegiate level,” said Claus. “The situation is an outstanding opportunity to learn from a well established and respected head coach in Terry Alexander, and a nationally recognized, premium recruiter in Tim Montez.”
Prior to joining the Red Sox, Claus spent 12 years with the Anaheim Angels organization as a minor league manager (2002-03), amateur scout (1999-01) and minor league hitting instructor (1995-2001). In his first season as manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Single-A), Claus led the squad to its first playoff appearance since 1997 and a West Division crown en route to Baseball America’s “Best Major League Managing Prospect” (Midwest League) accolades and Anaheim Angels Minor League “Employee of the Year” honors in 2002. In seven years as a hitting instructor, he spent time with the Provo Angels (Rookie-level, 2001), Boise Hawks (Low-A, 1999-00 & 1995-96), Midland Angles (Double-A, 1998) and Cedar Rapids (1999-01).
Among the current major leaguers to be coached by Claus while in the Angels system are AL all-stars Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders, Eric Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Casey Kotchman, Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli.
“We are very excited about the addition of Todd to our staff,” said Alexander. “He brings tremendous baseball experience as well as a passion for the game. His knowledge of infield play and hitting complements Tim Montez and his reputation as a pitching coach. We have had several regional appearances and now we are trying to take the next step towards the College World Series. With Todd rounding our staff, we think we have added another piece to the puzzle to help us accomplish that goal.”
A two-year letterwinner as an infielder at the University of North Florida, Claus helped lead the Ospreys to a 100-36 combined record, an NAIA District 25 Tournament appearance, the program’s first No. 1 national ranking and a spot in the NAIA World Series after transferring from Indian River Community College. During his freshman season, he played infield at Seminole Community College after leading Cardinal Gibbons High School to a state title in 1987.
He signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Angels in 1991 and played three years in the minors with Boise (1991) – where he helped lead the Hawks to a Northwest title, the Quad City River Bandits (Single-A, 1992-93), the Palm Springs Angels (High-A, 1993) and Midland (1993). Before embarking on his professional career as a manager and scout, the Endicott, N.Y. native served as a graduate assistant coach at UNF in 1994 and went on to graduate in the top of his class in Major League Scout School in 1995.
The Todd Claus File
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