Drive Hosting Hot Stove Event

Monday, January 29th at Fluor Field

Ed Jenson
January 18, 2018 - 9:21 pm

The Greenville Drive’s annual Hot Stove event is always a sign that baseball season is inching ever so closely, and the 2018 edition of the Hot Stove is set for Monday, January 29th at Fluor Field in the Champions Club presented by Hubbell Lighting.  The Hot Stove event will run from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, while season ticket holders are invited beginning at 5:30 PM for a special pre-reception. 

The special guests for this year’s Hot Stove event are Ben Crockett, the Red Sox Vice President of Player Development, Darren Fenster, the Drive’s manager from 2014-2017, Iggy Suarez, the new Drive manager for the 2018 season, and Bob Kipper, who will serve in his third stint as Drive pitching coach beginning this season.

The Drive’s Hot Stove event is complimentary for fans to attend, with food and beverages provided throughout the evening.  Fans will have the opportunity to speak with each of the featured guests prior to the formal speaking portion of the event, which will also include Drive Owner/Team President Craig Brown and General Manager Eric Jarinko.

The speaking portion of the event will feature Brown and Jarinko highlighting what to expect for the fan experience at Fluor Field in 2018.  Crockett will provide an in-depth look into the state of the Red Sox organization, Fenster will help to recap the 2017 season from an on-field perspective, while Suarez and Kipper will tell Drive fans what to expect on the field for the upcoming season.  A Q&A session with attendees and special guests will round out the evening.

“The 2017 season was an incredible journey from start to finish, and we are very excited to welcome our dedicated fans back to Fluor Field for the annual Hot Stove event,” said Brown.  “Ben Crockett has done an unbelievable job manning the Red Sox player development, and he is extremely crucial in our annual success on the field.  We are also thrilled to have Darren, Iggy and Bob on hand, as this Hot Stove event will give our fans a chance to say good-bye and thank you to Darren for his four years of success, while welcoming Iggy to the Greenville community.”

2018 will be Crockett’s seventh year in charge of Boston’s Player Development, and his 12th season in the organization.  During his tenure with the Red Sox, Crockett has played a critical role in the development of some of Boston’s homegrown talent, including Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and many more.

Fenster capped his four-year stint as the Drive’s manager by winning 84 total games and bringing home the franchise’s first South Atlantic League Championship in 2017.  He will serve as the manager of the Portland Sea Dogs, Boston’s AA affiliate, this season.  Since joining the Boston organization in 2012 as the Drive’s hitting coach, Fenster has worked with 15 major leaguers.   

Suarez begins his first season as the Drive’s manager in 2018.  The 36-year old Suarez has managed the Lowell Spinners, Boston’s short-season affiliate, for two seasons.  He led the Spinners to 47-29 record and the New York-Penn League’s Stedler Division title in his first season as manager in 2016. Prior to his appointment as manager in Lowell, Suarez served as the Spinners hitting coach in 2015.  A 24th round selection by the Red Sox from Texas State in 2003, he was a fan favorite over seven seasons in the Boston organization, while reaching AAA-Pawtucket in 2009.  

Kipper will begin his third stint as the Drive’s pitching coach in 2018, having previously held the role in 2005-2006 as well as 2008-2009.  The 53 year-old has coached in the Red Sox organization since 2005, and spent the previous three seasons with AAA-Pawtucket. A former first round pick (8th overall) in 1982, Kipper spent eight seasons in the major leagues, with seven of those as a Pittsburgh Pirate. 

 “The Hot Stove event is always an exciting time for our organization and fans, as it signifies how close baseball is to returning to Downtown Greenville,” said Jarinko.  “With Ben, Darren, Iggy and Bob on hand to highlight the past, present and future of the Drive, our fans will be just as ready for baseball as we are, and we look forward to seeing everyone on January 29th.”

~Greenville Drive~

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