PawSox pick new man­ager

47-year-old worked way up through Sox sys­tem

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - By BREN­DAN McGAIR bm­c­[email protected]­tuck­et­

Billy McMil­lon has coached in Sox sys­tem since ’08

PAW­TUCKET — When it comes to the Red Sox and op­er­at­ing in the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s mi­nor- league bub­ble, Billy McMil­lon has worn many hats. From per­form­ing du­ties that in­clude man­ag­ing three af­fil­i­ates along with serv­ing as a hit­ting coach and rov­ing co­or­di­na­tor, the 47- year- old cer­tainly knows his way around the farm sys­tem.

“He’s done a lot, he re­ally has,” said Ben Crock­ett, Red Sox vice pres­i­dent of player devel­op­ment.

Be­fore Fri­day’s of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment, there was one fron­tier that McMil­lon had yet to reach as a Red Sox mi­nor-league em­ploy- ee. With a man­age­rial va­cancy in Triple-A Paw­tucket, the tim­ing couldn’t have worked about any bet­ter as it re­lates to once again chang­ing McMil­lon’s job de­scrip­tion. Start­ing with next sea­son, McMil­lon will take over the po­si­tion where the pre­vi­ous keeper of the PawSox man­age­rial flame – Kevin Boles – held said ti­tle over the past five sea­sons.

“Go­ing to Triple-A, he’ll get a chance to round out his ex­pe­ri­ences and get a chance to make an im­pact at that level,” said Crock­ett when reached Fri­day.

McMil­lon’s jour­ney through the Red Sox farm sys­tem started in 2008 as the hit­ting coach of Low-A Greenville.

He made his man­age­rial de­but in 2010 with the same Greenville team be­fore mov­ing to High-A Salem in 2012 and Dou­ble-A Port­land in 2014. He has spent each of the past three sea­sons (2016-18) as Bos­ton’s mi­nor league out­field and baserun­ning co­or­di­na­tor. It’s a ti­tle that meant vis­its to McCoy Sta­dium, so McMil­lon won’t need any in­tro­duc­tions upon set­ting foot in­side the home club­house in his new ca­pac­ity as the PawSox skip­per.

“I’m ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity to get back in the dugout and I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the Paw­tucket or­ga­ni­za­tion as we con­tinue to de­velop the next wave of Red Sox play­ers,” said McMil­lon in a text mes­sage.

As a Red Sox mi­nor-league man­ager, McMil­lon’s six sea­sons saw him com­pile a 440400 record (.524 win­ning per­cent­age) and win two cham­pi­onships (2013 with Salem, 2014 with Port­land). He was at the fore­front of nur­tur­ing while si­mul­ta­ne­ously push­ing all of the bet­ter known prospects in the Red Sox’ farm chain. McMil­lon’s list of cur­rent Bos­ton con­trib­u­tors who played for him when he guided a mi­nor-league club in­cludes Mookie Betts, Xan­der Bo­gaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swi­hart, Robby Scott, Matt Barnes, and Bran­don Work­man.

“He’s been in a bunch of dif­fer­ent roles and had dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences. He’s been a re­ally suc­cess­ful man­ager from a win-loss stand­point but more im­por­tantly from a devel­op­ment stand­point,” said Crock­ett. “He im­pacted a lot of the ma­jor-league play­ers who were prospects un­der him that helped us in the World Se­ries this year.”

McMil­lon joined the Sox fol­low­ing a sixyear ma­jor-league play­ing ca­reer that in­cluded stops with Florida (1996-97), Philadel­phia (1997), Detroit (2000-01), and Oak­land (200104). He was drafted by Florida in 1993 when cur­rent Red Sox Pres­i­dent of Base­ball Opera- tions Dave Dom­browski was the gen­eral man­ager of the Mar­lins. McMil­lon was traded by Florida to Philadel­phia a few months be­fore the Mar­lins cap­tured the 1997 World Se­ries.

With the Phillies, McMil­lon played for a Na­tional League club that was man­aged by for­mer Red Sox dugout boss Terry Fran­cona.

The Times/Call pre­vi­ously re­ported that the Red Sox were likely to look in­side the or­ga­ni­za­tional for the next PawSox man­ager. McMil­lon be­comes the 17th man­ager in Paw­tucket his­tory.

“Any­time you’re try­ing to fill a po­si­tion, go­ing in­ter­nal is the pref­er­ence. In Billy, we’re lucky we have some­one who has man­aged and roved in terms of teach­ing a spe­cific abil­ity,” said Crock­ett. “He’ll help us grow in Triple-A from a player devel­op­ment stand­point and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of scout­ing ma­te­rial and in­for­ma­tion. We’ll con­tinue to grow on the progress we’ve made re­cently.”

In com­pli­ance with mov­ing to the front lines of the Red Sox sys­tem, McMil­lon will be tasked to foster an up­beat club­house cul­ture in the face of fre­quent player move­ment and keep the ma­jor-league staff abreast of the in­ven­tory pool that will be dipped into when­ever a need arises.

“The Triple-A staff has a strong voice re­gard­ing po­ten­tial call-ups and ma­jor-league readi­ness,” said Crock­ett. “It’s def­i­nitely a dif­fer­ent role, but I know he’s ex­cited to get back into the dugout. He’ll have the chance to im­pact guys at the Triple-A level and help to men­tor guys who will un­doubt­edly be help­ing us to try to re­peat at the big-league level.”

The rest of the PawSox coach­ing staff will be an­nounced at a later date, though it’s ex­pected that those in­di­vid­u­als who worked with Boles this past sea­son – coach Bruce Crabbe, pitch­ing coach Kevin Walker, and hit­ting coach Rich Ged­man – will be in Paw­tucket come 2019.

File photo by Louri­ann Mardo-Zayat / lmzart­

Af­ter start­ing his Red Sox coach­ing run at Low-A Greenville a decade ago, Billy McMil­lon worked his way up the sys­tem and was named PawSox’ man­ager Fri­day by Sox vice pres­i­dent Ben Crock­ett.

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