BROOKLYN, NY – February 3, 2020 – The New York Mets today announced the full coaching staff for the 2020 Brooklyn Cyclones season. After announcing that Ed Blankmeyer will serve as manager of the team last month, Josh Towers (Pitching Coach), Rafael Fernandez (Hitting Coach), Benny Distefano (Bench Coach), Anthony Olivieri (Athletic Trainer) and Wyatt Briggs (Performance Coach) will round out the staff.
Towers enters his second season as a coach in the Mets organization, after serving as the pitching coach with the GCL Mets in 2013 and with the Columbia Fireflies in 2019. The 42-year-old spent parts of eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the Baltimore Orioles (2001-02), Toronto Blue Jays (2003-07), and New York Yankees (2009). He combined to go 45-55 with a 4.95 ERA in 139 career games, 112 starts. The Las Vegas native was selected in the 15th round of the 1996 MLB Draft out of Oxnard College (CA).
Rafael Fernandez begins his fourth year in the Mets organization and his first at the hitting coach with Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League. He spent the 2019 season as a coach on the New York Mets staff at the Major League level. The 31-year-old was the hitting coach for the GCL Mets in 2018 and had the same role with the DSL Mets 2 (R) in both the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. Fernandez was originally signed by the Mets as a player in 2006 and played seven season in the minors, including a brief stint with the Cyclones during the 2008 season.
Benny Distefano is no stranger to Brooklyn, having attended Lafayette High School – where he was teammates with Mets legend John Franco. The 58-year-old has also served as hitting coach with the Cyclones previously in 2010 and 2014. Distefano spent the 2018 campaign as the Bench Coach with the Syracuse Mets (AAA), the same role he will have with the Cyclones. Benny has also served as the hitting coach for Savannah (A) of the South Atlantic League and St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League before spending two seasons as a minor league outfield coordinator. Distefano played professionally for 12 seasons, including five years in the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros.
Completing the staff will be Anthony Olivieri as the Athletic Trainer and Wyatt Briggs as the Performance Coach.
The 2020 season will get underway on Thursday, June 18th when the Cyclones take on the Staten Island Yankees. Season tickets, mini plans, group packages and premium seating are currently available by calling 718-37-BKLYN.