Obviously any time a Los Angeles Dodger joins MLB Network Radio, it’s worth a listen for all of us. However, it’s not often you get to hear a member of the Dodgers’ coaching staff talk some baseball.
Mark Prior will be entering his first season as the pitching coach of the Dodgers. Still, his life after his playing days ended did not begin in Los Angeles. He worked as the minor league pitching coordinator for the San Diego Padres for three seasons before joining the boys in blue. Recently, Prior joined MLB Network Radio to talk about his path to becoming a coach in the big leagues.
Here is the clip in it’s entirety.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 23, 2020
First, Prior talks about how he transitioned from retired player to a role in the front office.
“Out of nowhere, Josh Byrnes who is now an assistant GM for the Padres asked what I was doing. I was just enjoying time with my family. We talked all off-season and he wanted to know if I had decided to coach. I said honestly I didn’t know what I want to do. But I decided to just sit around and learn – be a fly on the wall in meetings, scouting, and shadowing guys. I was fortunate that they brought me on in a no-structure role in the front office.”
Next, Prior talks about how his passion for impacting others is what helped his love for coaching take root within him.
“I started to see the business or operational side that you don’t see as a player and I was very much intrigued. Fast forward, Josh unfortunately got fired. A.J. Preller offered me the pitching coordinator job. I took it and ran with it, and loved it from day one. I think I just started really enjoying coaching players, impacting them, and it was fulfilling. I really love coaching and being a part of it.”
It’s important to learn the backstory of impactful people in the Dodgers organization. Furthermore, Prior takes over an important position held for so long by legend Rick Honeycutt. By the sounds of it, the Dodgers’ pitching staff is in great hands; and they’re fortunate to have this guy.