Pirates Hire Spiro Psaltis as Head Coach of GCCL Bucs
The Ventura County Pirates Organization has made a significant hire, bringing on former Angels draft pick Spiro Psaltis to coach the Bucs of the Golden Coast Collegiate League.
“[Psaltis] is an individual who is very relatable to players and to improving their knowledge of playing the game the right way and simultaneously improving their baseball skills.” Pirates General Manager George Vranau said.
Psaltis is highly respected in southern California baseball circles. Additionally, he was a NCAA Division 1 Champion at USC under legendary coach Rod Dedeaux before playing in the minor leagues as part of the Angels organization. Psaltis went on to serve as head baseball coach at Glendale High School for nine seasons and has over a decade of coaching experience at the high-school to junior college level.
“For players not to pick the brain of somebody like Spiro, who has not only played the game professionally as part of the Angels organization, but who was also part of a National Championship team at USC, they would be missing out on an opportunity to improve themselves,” Vranau said.
The team Psaltis will be coaching will consist mostly of Junior college players, and the way Psaltis speaks about coaching indicates that his baseball philosophy lends itself well to that age group.
“At that [junior college and collegiate] level we’re doing more nurturing, but we’re doing it at a higher level,” Psaltis said. “I think it’s my niche.”
Another benefit of bringing on Psaltis is that the move creates organizational congruence when it comes to the instructional philosophies of Pirates general Manager George Vranau and his new hire.
“George and I appear to be on the same wavelength as far as instruction, respect for the game, the desire to handle fundamentals not just repetitiously, but properly.” Psaltis said. “We’re on the same page.”
It stands to reason that Psaltis and Vranau see eye-to-eye, as the latter coached the former during Psaltis’ high school playing days. The two have maintained a connection and friendship ever since then. Vranau describes Psaltis’ acquisition as a long-awaited success.
“I’m well aware of his baseball experience and baseball knowledge,” Vranau said. “In fact I’ve been trying to get Spiro to join the Ventura County Pirates organization for the last 4-5 years, it’s just his schedule didn’t allow it to happen."
Psaltis was a pitcher during his playing days, but his coaching philosophy is easily applicable to every position on the field. He plans on developing the unique talents of each individual player in order to field a well-rounded team.
“These guys [in the junior college to collegiate age group], have many things they can still, not necessarily learn, but that they can emphasize and polish,” Psaltis said. “That usually becomes the issue at this level. . . it’s gotta be polished and it’s gotta be consistent.”