COMSTOCK PARK, MI – The Detroit Tigers today announced that Andrew Graham will return to the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2015 for a second season as the team’s manager.
The Tigers also announced that Mark Johnson will be returning to the Whitecaps as pitching coach and Phil Clark will join the organization as Whitecaps hitting coach for the 2015 season.
Graham successfully balanced his primary task of player development with his desire to win in his first season as Whitecaps manager, guiding the 2014 team to an 82-58 record, the most successful team on the field since 2007. He led the team to the Midwest League Eastern Division first-half championship and a berth in the league playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Graham is the first former Whitecaps player to become the team’s manager. A native of Sydney, Australia, Graham was drafted by the Tigers in 2003 as a catcher. He played in 26 games for the Whitecaps in 2004 (.253 batting average) and 32 games in 2005 (.190 batting average) before advancing to Class A-Advanced Lakeland, Class AA Erie and finally Class AAA Toledo in 2007. In 2009 and 2010, Graham served as a coach for the rookie Gulf Coast League Tigers, and in 2011, at the age of 29, he earned his first managerial assignment with the short-season Class A Connecticut Tigers. He spent three years there, compiling a 107-117, before being promoted to West Michigan in 2014.
What a great news story – Andrew Graham, ex Stealer now making it big in the US.