Helms Named Knights New Manager

January 13, 2020 - 12:57 pm

Charlotte Knights


(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) -- Former major leaguer, Wes Helms, a native of Gastonia, NC, has been named the new manager of the Charlotte Knights for the 2020 season. Helms, 43, will be introduced to the media at BB&T Ballpark on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

With today’s announcement, Wes Helms will now join his uncle, Tommy Helms, as the only family members to manage the Charlotte Knights in franchise history. Tommy Helms, a Charlotte, NC native, managed the Knights during the 1990 season. He was inducted into the Charlotte Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.

Helms, the 22nd manager in franchise history, replaces Mark Grudzielanek, who managed the Knights for the past three seasons (2017-19). Last season, Grudzielanek became just the third manager in franchise history to accumulate 200 wins with the Knights. Grudzielanek, along with Steve McCatty (pitching coach), Frank Menechino (hitting coach), Guillermo Quiroz (assistant coach), and Josh Fallin (head athletic trainer) will not return to the Knights in 2020. The only returnee from last season’s coaching staff will be Shawn Powell (performance coach).

Joining Helms in Charlotte for the 2020 season will be newcomers Matt Zaleski (pitching coach), Howie Clark (hitting coach), Mike Daniel (coach), and Cory Barton (head athletic trainer). The Knights will open up the 2020 season on Thursday, April 9 in Durham, NC against the Durham Bulls. Opening Knight at BB&T Ballpark is set for Thursday, April 16 at 7:04 p.m.

Helms, a 1994 graduate of Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, NC, was inducted into the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the 1994 MLB June Amateur Draft, Helms made his major league debut on September 5, 1998. Over the course of his career, he spent parts of 13 seasons in the majors with the Braves (1998, 2000-02), Milwaukee Brewers (2003-05), Florida Marlins (2006, 2008-11), and Philadelphia Phillies (2007). He compiled a career batting average of .256 with 694 hits, 75 home runs, and 374 RBIs over 1,212 big league games.

The 2020 season will mark the second overall campaign for Helms in the Chicago White Sox organization. He spent the 2019 season as a coach with the Double-A Birmingham Barons. Before that, he spent the 2018 season with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies organization) as their bench coach.

2020 Charlotte Knights Field Staff:
Manager: Wes Helms
Pitching Coach: Matt Zaleski
Hitting Coach: Howie Clark
Coach: Mike Daniel
Athletic Trainer: Cory Barton
Performance Coach: Shawn Powell

Season membership plans are on sale now and can be purchased online at charlotteknights.com, by phone at 704-274-8282, or in person at the BB&T Ballpark Ticket Office located at 324 S. Mint St. Single-game tickets for the upcoming season will go on sale at a later date.


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