Blue Bios: Trey Hillman

Thomas Brad Hillman      45

Born: January 4, 1963 in Amarillo, Texas

Batted: Right    Threw: Right       5’11″   170 lbs.

Trey Hillman is the current bench coach for the Dodgers and Don Mattingly‘s right-hand man. Trey never played at the Major League level, but he did play in the minor league systems of the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins for three seasons from 1985-1987.

 

August 28, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly and bench manager Trey Hillman watch the game from the dugout between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Colorado Rockies won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Hillman signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1985 after playing college baseball at the University of Texas-Arlington. Trey only made it to the AA level professionally, and in his 3 seasons in the minors he accumulated a .179 batting average in 162 games and 515 plate appearances. He never hit a homerun, and he only mustered 75 hits total. He mostly played shortstop and second base, but he also played a few games at third base and one game in the outfield. As you can see, Trey Hillman was not very good. He eventually would find his niche in the game though as a scout, manager, and coach. Albeit his brief time as a manager of the Royals did not go so well.

Soon after his professional baseball career fizzled, Hillman became a scout for the Indians in 1988. In 1990 he began managing and working in the New York Yankees’ minor league system where he remained through 2001. As the manager of the Oneonta Yankees in 1990, he won the New York-Penn League championship. He was also the skipper of the AAA Columbus Clippers from 1999-2001.

In 2002, Trey left the Yankees to join the Texas Rangers organization as the director of

August 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman (45) reacts as he talks to home plate umpire Angel Campos (left) against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

player development. The next year, Hillman was invited to manage in Japan. He took the helm for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in 2003, and he led them to a Pacific League championship in 2006 and 2007. 2006 being the first pennant for the Ham Fighters in 25 years. He even coined a catch phrase for the team after their championship win in 2006. He shouted “shinjirarenai!” which means “unbelievable!”

Hillman then caught the eye of several MLB teams based on his success as a manager in Japan. He was in the running for the managerial position for the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and even the Yankees back in 2007. On October 19, 2007, Hillman signed on to become the manager of the Kansas City Royals.

 

Hillman was successful in Japan but floundered in Kansas City as a MLB manager. Photo: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

On March 31, 2008, Hillman won his first game as the manager of the Royals as Kansas City defeated the Detroit Tigers with a 5-4 score in 11 innings. Even though the Royals finished with a 75-87 record that year, it was still the team’s best showing since 2003. Yes, the Royals are that bad. In his sophomore season as skipper, the Royals finished with a record of 65-97. On May 13, 2010, Hillman was fired as manager of the Royals and replaced by Ned Yost. The Royals had started off another abysmal season with a 12-23 record. His total record as a MLB manager is 152-207.

On November 22, 2010, Hillman was hired by the Dodgers to be their bench coach under manager Don Mattingly. He will be returning for 2013 as the Dodger bench coach once again. If you remember, Hillman filled in for Mattingly admirably after Donnie was suspended for two games this past summer. Hillman seems quiet and reserved on the bench, but his managerial experience comes in handy to counter balance Mattingly’s lack of managerial refinement.

Trey and his wife Marie have two children and reside in Liberty Hill, Texas. According to Dodgers.com, Hillman enjoys playing guitar, drumming, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

 

Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers Trey Hillman