The Mets took another step toward filling out their coaching staff on Wednesday, hiring New York native Tony Tarasco to become their first-base coach. Tarasco replaces Tony DeFrancesco, whom the Mets reassigned to another position in the organization.
Tarasco, 50, has spent the past five seasons as an outfield and baserunning instructor in the Padres’ organization. He’ll be the point person in those areas for the Mets as well, in addition to his duties as first-base coach.
A big league outfielder from 1993-02, Tarasco is perhaps best known for playing right field for the Orioles during the 1996 American League Championship Series, when a 12-year-old fan named Jeffrey Maier reached over the Yankee Stadium wall to turn a would-be flyout into a controversial home run for Derek Jeter. Tarasco played for six teams in total over his career, including a partial season with the Mets in 2002. He was born and raised in Manhattan.
Shortly after his retirement as a player, Tarasco joined the Nationals, eventually serving as their first-base coach from 2013-15.
Although the Mets have not announced their full coaching staff, team officials have indicated that hitting coach Chili Davis and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner will return. The club previously announced that Dave Jauss will take over as manager Luis Rojas’ bench coach, replacing Hensley Meulens. But the team has not made any decisions public regarding third-base coach Gary DiSarcina, bullpen coach Ricky Bones, quality control coach Brian Schneider or others on last year’s staff.
DeFrancesco served one year as the Mets’ first-base coach, following a longer stint as their Triple-A manager. He will remain in the organization as a senior advisor of player development and scouting.