Brogna Comes To Mobile Ready To Teach
PHOENIX—When Rico Brogna was playing and scouting in the major leagues, he paid attention. Always a note-taker and a good listener, Brogna filled notebooks, legal pads or the nearest scrap of paper with advice, tips and observations gathered along the way.
Brogna believes that will help smooth the transition to his managerial debut at Double-A Mobile this season.
"It might be something I heard at batting practice that day, or something I learned while playing," Brogna said. "Things I jotted down. I've always been intrigued by the thought of managing."
Brogna, 39, was a Diamondbacks pro scout in 2007 and 2008 and served in that capacity for two months last season before becoming the team's minor league field coordinator when Jack Howell was promoted to the major league coaching staff under new manager A.J. Hinch. Being back in uniform kindled a fire, and Brogna jumped when the opportunity presented itself over the winter.
"Something really tugging at me was the competitive aspect and the leadership that the role of manager combined," Brogna said. "The time I spent scouting taught me as much about baseball as playing, and I thought that was something I might be able to bring to a manager's seat."
Brogna spent seven years in the minor leagues and parts of nine in the majors mostly with the Mets and Phillies after being Detroit's first-round pick in 1988. A first baseman, Brogna had four 20-home run seasons and twice drove in more than 100 runs.
"That's the best classroom," he said. "That's the best education, to experience it. I've been through a lot of bus rides. Hopefully I know how to teach the experience. I hope at the end of the day we'll be able to develop players."
Brogna wants his players to be smart, selfless, competitive, mentally and physically tough, coachable and adherent to the D-backs' way.
"Baseball has to be one of the three most important things in your life, with faith and family," Brogna said.
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