The Saltdogs secured their 2012 coaching staff Thursday, welcoming back pitching coach Jarrett Gardner and signing former Sioux Falls slugger Beau Torbert as hitting coach.
Gardner returns for his third season as head of the hurlers. The Moore, Okla. native is the most successful pitcher in Saltdogs history, having tossed a no-hitter in 2009 en route to leading the club to its first American Association championship.
"We're very excited to have Gardy back," Saltdogs manager Chris Miyake said. "I have no doubt he will lead our pitching staff to be one of the best in the league next season."
Torbert, a Phenix City, Alabama native, will begin his coaching career after a wildly successful three years in the American Association as an outfielder for the Pheasants, during which he set several league records and earned MVP honors.
In his final season in 2010, he hit .394 (which marked an all-time American Association best before Blake Gailen's 2011 campaign) with 24 home runs and 100 RBI, garnering the league's MVP award.
"Beau has an excellent track record in this league. Not only is he a great hitter but he has an incredible work ethic as well," Miyake said. "He's eager to get his coaching career started and we are very lucky to have him in a Saltdogs uniform in 2012."
Torbert currently holds league single season high-water marks in hits (255), extra-base hits (64) and total bases (269). In seven professional seasons, he hit .317 with 69 home runs and 376 RBI.
The 28-year old was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 17th round of the 2004 MLB draft and spent four seasons in the organization, reaching as high as Triple-A. Torbert also had a stint in the Atlanta Braves organization in 2011 before announcing his retirement as a player.
"The three of us will be able to work together very closely next season as we gun for another American Association title."