March 9, 2011 – The Victoria Generals announced today that Ryan Wagner, former Major League Baseball pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, has been named the team’s new head baseball coach.
“I am excited to introduce Ryan Wagner to the Victoria Generals family,” said Blake Koch, Victoria’s General Manager. “Ryan had an excellent collegiate and professional playing career and we’re anxious to see him leading our team this summer in a General’s uniform.”
The Generals won the 2010 Texas Collegiate League Championship under the guidance of former head coach Chris Clemons who announced his resignation last week. The Generals have finished in first place in the TCL regular season in back-to-back years (2009 & 2010)
“Ryan’s playing and coaching background make him a great asset to our organization in terms of teaching and managing the game, as well as in helping us recruit the best student-athletes to Victoria during the summers,” commented Koch.
Wagner, a native of nearby Yoakum, TX, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as the 14th overall pick in the first round of the 2003 MLB draft following his sophomore year at the University of Houston. Wagner was named a First-Team All-American after appearing in 38 games and posting a 6-5 record with a 1.93 ERA at Houston. Wagner recorded 15 saves to go along with 148 strikeouts in only 79.1 innings pitched. Wagener’s 16.8 strikeouts per nine innings average in 2003 broke a 39-year old NCAA single-season record which still stands today.
Wagner needed just 46 days and all of nine innings in the minor leagues between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville to earn a promotion to the big leagues in Cincinnati in 2003. His rapid trek to the big leagues was the fastest since Oakland Athletics 1995 first-round pick Ariel Prieto who needed just 28 days in the minors. Wagner appeared in 108 games for the Reds from 2003-05. In 2006, Wagner was traded to the Washington Nationals. Wagner appeared in 40 games for the Nationals from 2006-07 before going on the disabled list. He missed the remainder of the 2007 season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Wagner pitched in the Nationals minor league system in 2008, but could never fully recover from the shoulder injury. Wagner announced his retirement on May 18, 2009.
During his professional career, Wagner appeared in 148 games over a span of 5 seasons. Wagner finished with a career record of 11-9, recording 130 strikeouts in 165 innings pitched.
After retiring from professional baseball, Wagner returned to Yoakum and started the South Texas Bandits baseball program which is designed to highlight and develop local high school and youth baseball talent in the area.
Wagner and his wife, Erin, reside in Yoakum with their two children.
Season tickets for the Generals 2011 season are on sale now as the TCL plans to release its 2011 season schedule in the coming weeks. Fans can buy season tickets and team merchandise at the Generals team store located at 3708 North Navarro, Suite A in the Landmark Shopping Center, online at www.VictoriaGenerals.com, or by calling 361-485-9522.