PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Southern Illinois University baseball alumnus and Carbondale native Derek Shelton was named the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the organization announced Wednesday.
Shelton was a four-year letter winner at SIU (1989-92) and led the Salukis to an MVC title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990.
Shelton also has ties to Johnston City. His dad, Ron, is a 1966 graduate of Johnston City High School and was recently inducted into that school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Shelton earned the 1992 Abe Martin Award, given to the SIU player who best exemplified honesty, leadership, excellence, dedication and loyalty on and off the field.
The 49-year-old Shelton has 15 years of coaching experience at the Major League level.
He spent the last two seasons as the Bench Coach with the Minnesota Twins, after having served as Quality Control Coach for the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2017 season. Prior to his time in Toronto, Shelton spent seven seasons as the Hitting Coach for the Tampa Bay Rays and remains the longest tenured hitting coach in Tampa Bay's history.
Shelton began his big league coaching career with the Cleveland Indians, serving as Hitting Coach from 2005-09.
"I have known Derek for more than 15 years and have great admiration for his passion for the game and players, work ethic, curiosity, and desire to learn," Cherington said. "He has worked and learned from some of the best in the game, and in turn has helped players and colleagues learn and improve during his 20 years of coaching and managing. We are confident Derek will help lead an elite playing and coaching environment at the Major League level and be a true partner to all of baseball operations as we challenge each other to get better every day. I want to thank our entire baseball operations group for their tireless work over the past several weeks of this search. We are thrilled to get to work with Derek and continue building toward a winning team in Pittsburgh."
"My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pittsburgh community and are humbled to be a part of this storied franchise," Shelton said. "One of the most exciting things for me during the interview process was just how evident the passion for Pittsburgh and the desire to succeed was with everyone I interacted with.
"I very much look forward to developing a strong partnership with Ben and the baseball operations staff," Shelton added. "It is going to be an exciting change of culture in our clubhouse. It is going to be a fun environment in which we will all be held accountable to each other. It will be a player-centric culture built on strong communication and relationships with our players, our staff and the entire organization. We will begin to establish those relationships this offseason prior to coming together as a team in Bradenton this February."
Shelton spent three seasons (2000-2002) as a manager in the New York Yankees' farm system and captured two league championships. He led the GCL Yankees to first-place finishes in 2000 (38-22 record) and 2001 (35-25), with the team winning the title in 2001 after losing in the finals in 2000. Shelton also led the Staten Island club to a league-best record (48-26) and a New York-Penn League championship in 2002.
Shelton will be formally introduced at a news conference on Dec. 4. Shelton is the 41st manager in Pirates history.