Photo by Allen Douglas

KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kamloops North Paws have a new head coach for the 2024 West Coast League season.  And they filled the vacancy from within their own organization.

The Paws have promoted pitching coach Jose Bautista to the role of head coach.

Bautista, a former major league pitcher has been the team’s pitching coach for the club’s first two seasons.

“I look at this position as being one of a teacher,” he says.  “I want to teach the players a little more about the game. It is one to be enjoyed.  I am hoping they will improve their strengths like relaxing when they hit.”

The 59 year old Bautista spent almost 10 years in the majors (1988-97).   He played with four teams beginning with the Baltimore Orioles.  He also played with the Chicago Cubs, San Fransisco Giants, Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

“I have been coaching for so many years, “he says. “I want our hitters to do just that—hit. No mini bunts.  And we have to have fun with it. It is a game after all.  I have been in baseball for 45 years. I am going to draw on that experience in order for the NorthPaws and the players to be successful.

He had a career record of 32-42 with 328 strikeouts and an earned run average of 4.62.

Aside from his stint as the NorthPaws pitching coach, Bautista also held that position with the Burlington Bees (2021, 2022), Idaho Falls Chukars (2004, 2005, 2006) and the Class “A” Kanapolis Intimidators (2011).     He was also the manager of the Advance “A” Great Falls Voyageurs in the Chicago White Sox organization.

Photo by Allen Douglas

Bautista has begun contacting members of the NorthPaws from this past season along with recruiting other players.   “I am definitely talking to the players from Kamloops who were on the team last year.  I want to give them more of an opportunity to play and improve. “

He plans to scout colleges and universities on the East Coast to recruit players.  He will also have people scouting Arizona and California for prospects.  He is hoping to have at least 20 pitchers on the roster along with three catchers.  Bautista would like to have a strong contingent of players who have ties to Canada.

Says General Manager Jenna Forter:  “The organization is excited for this promotion – Jose has proven his commitment to our players, our team and to the coaching staff.  He shares the values that this team is built on, and his passion for the athletes and their development was our deciding factor in promoting him to Head Coach. We are looking forward to 2024 and welcoming back local Canadian talent, along with new athletes to add to our roster.”

The NorthPaws will round out their coaching staff with more announcements in the near future.

For More Information:

Jenna Forter

NorthPaws General Manager

 (250) 250-214-1115