Andy Skeels

From BR Bullpen

Andrew Douglas Skeels

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Collegiate Career[edit]

Andy Skeels was named third-team All-American catcher by the American Baseball Coaches Association after his 1987 season at the University of Arkansas. (That same year, Darrin Fletcher was the first-team All-American and Craig Biggio and Ed Fulton second-team.) Skeels' 18 home runs in 1987 broke the single-season record previously held by Jeff King and Kevin McReynolds and helped lead the Razorbacks to the 1987 College World Series. His 50 extra-base-hits that season are still a single-season record, and his career batting average of .358 ranks 4th all-time for the Razorbacks.

Professional Playing Career[edit]

Skeels was selected by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round of the 1987 amateur draft and played in the minors from 1987 to 2001, reaching AAA with the Columbus Clippers in the New York Yankees organization in 1991. As a player, he won a championship ring at every level of the minor leagues: Spokane Indians (San Diego Padres) (Northwest League/Rookie-A); Riverside Red Wave (San Diego Padres) (California League/Class A - Advanced); Albany-Colonie Yankees (New York Yankees) (Eastern League - Class AA); and Columbus Clippers (New York Yankees) (International League - Class AAA).

Major League and Minor League Coaching, Managing, and Scouting[edit]

Skeels has served in the San Francisco Giants organization since 2006. On May 1, 2017, during his 31st season of professional baseball, Skeels made his Major League coaching debut at Dodger Stadium, when he temporarily replaced assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, who was on bereavement leave. The Giants beat the Dodgers and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw 4-3, with a roster that included a dozen homegrown players and a starting lineup full of homegrown talent that Skeels helped develop, including Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, and Joe Panik.

Prior to his MLB coaching debut, Skeels had managed or coached for 20 years for various organizations. Skeels served as a player/coach for the Lubbock Crickets (independent Texas-Louisiana League) (1997), as a player/manager for the Bayou Bullfrogs (1998) (independent Texas-Louisiana League), and as a player/coach for the San Antonio Missions (1999) (Los Angeles Dodgers) (Class AA) and Newark Bears (independent Atlantic League) (2001). He was a hitting coach for the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2000 (Texas Rangers) (Class A) and 2003 (Montreal Expos) (Class A), for the Brevard County Manatees (2004-2005) (Montreal Expos) (Class A - Advanced) and Augusta GreenJackets (2006-2007) (San Francisco Giants) (Class A). He managed the GCL Expos (Rookie) in 2002 and managed Augusta to the South Atlantic League title in 2008. As a manager in the Giants organization from 2008-2013, he won more games and had a higher winning percentage than any manager in the minor leagues. During that same span, two of his teams, at two different classifications, were recognized by as the Minor League Team of the Year: 2008 Augusta GreenJackets (Class A - Full Season) and 2009 San Jose Giants (Class A - Advanced). He holds the franchise record for wins in a season in both Augusta and San Jose.

He was the hitting coach for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies in 2014 and for the AAA Sacramento River Cats in 2015. He was then promoted and served as the Giants' organizational Hitting Coordinator. For the past two seasons (2018-2019), he served as a Major League Scout and handled Special Assignment duties for the Giants.

International Background and Experience[edit]

Skeels was the first-ever New Zealand-born player to be drafted by a Major League organization or to appear in uniform, as a player or coach, in a Major League game when he made his MLB coaching debut on May 1, 2017. Skeels managed the New Zealand national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, leading them to the championship game against Taiwan. At the time, New Zealand was unranked by the International Baseball Federation - the former worldwide governing body for international baseball rankings. New Zealand's advance to the WBC Qualifier championship game was, and remains, the only time an unranked team has ever advanced that far. One of his players on the New Zealand national team was his brother and former AA catcher, David Skeels. Another brother, Mark Skeels, also played pro ball after a successful collegiate career at Stanford University, where he played in the 1990 College World Series. Skeels boasts Hispanic heritage on the other side of his family: his grandmother was from Mexico City, his grandfather learned English while serving in the U.S. Army during WWI, and his mother (the former Delia Peña) is a native Spanish-speaker.

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1998 Bayou Bullfrogs Texas-Louisiana League 13-20 -- Independent Leagues -- Replaced by Steve Dillard (23-28)
2002 GCL Expos Gulf Coast League 28-32 8th (t) Montreal Expos
2008 Augusta GreenJackets South Atlantic League 88-50 1st San Francisco Giants League Champs
2009 San Jose Giants California League 93-47 1st San Francisco Giants League Champs
2010 Richmond Flying Squirrels Eastern League 68-73 9th San Francisco Giants
2011 San Jose Giants California League 90-50 1st San Francisco Giants Lost in 2nd round
2012 San Jose Giants California League 75-65 2nd San Francisco Giants Lost in 1st round
2013 San Jose Giants California League 83-57 1st San Francisco Giants Lost League Finals

Related Sites[edit]