The Gastonia Honey Hunters of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) today have announced the signing of Ian McKinney as their pitching coach for the 2023 season.
Additionally, McKinney will serve as the team’s first player-coach since the organization began in 2021.
Though only 28, Mckinney has been involved in professional baseball for nine seasons in the minors, pitching in the St. Louis Cardinals system from 2013-18 and then joining the Mariners in 2019 following a brief stint in independent ball with the Sioux City Explores of the American Assocation.
Last season, McKinney posted a 7-4 record with the Honey Hunters.
McKinney, an Orlando, Fla., native, is chopping at the bit to get started with Gastonia’s pitching staff and the rest of the squad.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said McKinney, whom the Cardinals selected in the 5th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of William R. Boone High School. “I look forward to working with the fearless and resilient Honey Hunters team. I’m anxious to hit the mound as we continue to provide Gaston County with first-rate baseball with dedication and perseverance.”
Gastonia’s opening day will take place on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 6:35 p.m.
— Jerry Del Priore