The Detroit Tigers have hired former Rockford Aviators’ field manager James Frisbie as a left-handed batting practice specialist.  Frisbie, who was assigned number 97, will be part of Detroit’s coaching staff and be uniform for all games.

“The Frontier League has always been my home, and I know that the Frontier League always had the best intentions for me and my career,” Frisbie stated.  “I appreciate everything that the Frontier League has done to help me and have great respect for the many people I worked with during my time there.

Frisbie was hired as Rockford’s field manager 23 games into the 2013 season.  He managed the Aviators through the 2015 season, guiding the team into the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season.  Frisbie managed the West Division team in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Frisbie managed three future Major League players during his time in Rockford, Jose Martinez, Drew Rucinski, and Josh Smoker.  From Frisbie’s coaching staff, Jeff Brooks now works for MLB China and Patrick O’Sullivan is a hitting coach in the San Diego Padres’ organization.  Former players Tyger Pederson (Double-A hitting coach for St. Louis) and Alex Sunderland (professional scout for the New York Yankees) also now work for MLB organizations.

Along with his time in Rockford, Frisbie served as pitching coach for the Chillicothe Paints in 2005, helping guide the team to the Championship Series, and for the Gateway Grizzlies in 2019.

A former pitcher at Abilene Christian University, Frisbie spent four seasons playing in the Texas-Louisiana League for the Alexandria Aces, Lafayette Bayou Bullfrogs, and Greenville Bluesmen.  Along with Rockford, Frisbie managed the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings (Central League, 2003), Bradenton Juice (South Coast League, 2007), Texas AirHogs (American Association, 2016), and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Atlantic League, 2018). He had been hired to manage the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association for the 2020 season.  Frisbie also served as Pitching Coordinator for the California Winter League the past three years.

Frisbie is the ninth Frontier League alumni on a Major League Baseball coaching staff for 2021, joining Jeff Albert (St. Louis), Darren Bush (Oakland), Donnie Ecker (San Francisco), Andy Haines (Milwaukee), Chris Hook (Milwaukee), Mike Kashirsky (Chicago White Sox), Guillermo Martinez (Toronto), Brendan Sagara (Texas),

Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league.  An official Partner League of Major League Baseball, the Frontier League features 16 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the independent leagues.


Frontier League Transactions