Today the Reds added the third and fourth members to David Bell’s emerging coaching staff. J.R. House will join the coaching staff as the third base/catching coach, while Donnie Ecker will report to hitting coach Turner Ward as assistant hitting coach.
House comes most recently from the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he just finished his first season as their minor league field coordinator. In total, House spent seven seasons as a minor league coach, including as manager of Hillsoro, Visalia, and Jackson. His Hillsboro Hops won a Northwest League championship in 2014. While with Visalia in 2015, House earned California League manager of the year. Notably on that Visalia Rawhide roster? Current Reds pitcher David Hernandez, former Reds infielder (for real) Phil Gosselin, and Future Reds pitcher (?) Patrick Corbin.
House was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1999 amateur draft and spent time as a catcher in the Pirates, Astros, and Orioles organization. He also played quarterback for the Mountaineers of West Virginia University in 2005.
Ecker was actually drafted in the 28th round of the 2004 amateur draft by these Reds, but didn’t sign. He did sign with the Rangers after being drafted in the 22nd round in 2007 by the Texas Rangers, though he only spent two years in the organization. The Bakersfield, California native got his coaching career started by returning to his high school stomping grounds as the manager of the Los Altos Conquerors.
The addition of J.R. House as third base coach is notable, only if because it signals the end of Billy Hatcher’s stint as coach of the hot corner for the Reds. Hatcher has spent 13 seasons as a coach in the Reds organization, and his future with the club (if any) hasn’t been made immediately clear.