Ashley Lowery, Deseret News
Ogden Raptors (and former Stingers) manager Mike Brumley throws a ball during practice in Ogden.

When Mike Brumley was given the choice to come to Utah or go to Florida, the former Salt Lake Stingers manager elected to come back to the area where he spent three sesons earlier in his career.

"This has always been a great place for us," Brumley said.

Brumley, who was in the Texas Rangers organization since leaving Salt Lake, returns as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and will skipper the Pioneer League's Ogden Raptors.

"I was raised a Dodger to some degree. My father came up with the Dodger organization, and it was a great opportunity for me to be a part of this," he said. "It fell into place, and here I am."

Brumley arrived to Salt Lake early last week and got a look at Lindquist Field, and players started trickling in shortly there after.

"It's gorgeous. I loved the ballpark in Salt Lake City, but this thing — as far as the views and everything else — is not comparable," he said. "This is a great place to play no matter what league you're in."

This time around, Brumley's job will be a lot different. Instead of managing players one step from the show, he'll be sending them on the start of that path which he hopes will end in the major leagues.

"Triple-A is about preparing to play in the big leagues. This (rookie ball) is preparing them to be professionals," he said.

"(At Triple-A), you've got guys you're trying to finish out to go and play in a pennant race."

With that, he knows there's going to be a certain amount of growing pains when 17-, 18-, and 19-year olds, who are away from home and playing with wood bats for the first time, take the field.

"From a playing standpoint there are no expectations, for me," Brumley said. "You kind of go in knowing there are going to be five major mistakes in the game, so I'm not sweating.

"The early work and the teach part is important, but when it comes to the game, I'm going to be like everyone else — watch the game, hope they play a good game and then we'll address the mistakes the next day and talk about it."

As of late last week, the roster included four players who were with the Raptors last year: Cal Stanke, Jessie Meir, Matt Wallach and Elian Herrera., while 10 more have been promoted from the Gulf Coast League Dodgers.

So far, five players from the draft held two weeks ago have signed and been assigned to Ogden: Devaris Gordon (fourth); Nick Buss (eighth), Clay Clafee (14th), Jordan Roberts (28th) and Ryan Arp (45th).

The Raptors open the home portion of their Pioneer League season Thursday night when they host the Owlz. It will also be the public's first look at the newly renovated Lindquist Field.


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