Giants name former top prospect as minor league coach

Giants name former top prospect as minor league coach
February 3, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Over his five-year Giants career, Todd Linden hit .217 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 373 at-bats. (USATSI)

Programming note: Get up to date on all the latest offseason Giants news with the Hot Stove Show, Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Todd Linden played parts of five seasons in the big leagues, but the former supplemental first-round pick never fully realized the potential the Giants saw in him. 

Now Linden will try to help other Giants prospects fulfill theirs. 

The Giants announced that they have hired Linden as a hitting coach and he’ll be stationed at Augusta in the Low-A South Atlantic League. The 33-year-old former switch hitter will be mentoring some players in spring training that he called teammates last summer, when he wrapped up a 12-year pro career as a part-time player with Triple-A Fresno.

Linden will assist Hector Borg, another former Giants minor leaguer turned coach. Mike Goff is returning as Augusta’s manager. 

Another former Giants farmhand, Matt Yourkin, was named pitching coach at Salem-Keizer in the short-season Northwest League. Yourkin retired last season after the Giants released him but he ended up in the big leagues after all -- accepting an offer to fill in for John Yandle as the Giants’ left-handed batting practice pitcher.

[BAGGARLY: NL West offense rankings -- No. 5: Padres]

Other minor league coaching assignments had been announced by affiliates earlier this winter, but the Giants made them official in a news release Monday.

The club also made official what’s been known for weeks, naming Shane Turner as farm director replacing Fred Stanley, who will continue as a special assistant. Turner, who is beginning his 19th season with the Giants, has coached at every level and managed over 1,250 games in the system. He spent the past six years as coordinator of minor league instruction.

[RELATED: Giants farm director Fred Stanley stepping down]

Former Giants catcher Steve Decker, who left the minor league managing ranks to become organizational hitting coordinator last season, will add Turner’s former title to his responsibilities.

All minor league managers return at full-season affiliates except for Double-A Richmond, where former hitting coach Russ Morman replaces longtime skipper Dave Machemer. Machemer left to take a position with the Baltimore Orioles. The Giants have a new/old face running Single-A San Jose after hiring Lenn Sakata, who last served as San Jose’s manager seven years ago before leaving for Orix in Japan. Sakata takes over for Andy Skeels after the Giants reassigned him to serve as the hitting coach at Triple-A Fresno.