Stephen Baker, a veteran NAIA coach who has spent the last six years on the staff at Tennessee Wesleyan as the Bulldogs Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, has been named as an area scout for the San Diego Padres Organization covering parts of Texas and Louisiana, TWC Head Coach Billy Berry announced Monday. Baker, will begin his duties this week with San Diego.
In six years at Tennessee Wesleyan, the Bulldogs advanced to the NAIA Opening Round Championship six times during his tenure in Athens, earning three trips to the Avista NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, and being crowned Avista NAIA National Champions in 2012. He has served as Tennessee Wesleyans pitching coach since he arrived in 2010. In that time six former bulldog pitchers have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft, and two others signed free agent contracts with Major League teams. TWC has had seven pitchers named to the AAC All Conference first team, and two pitchers selected AAC Pitcher of the Year, with one of those players being named NAIA first team All American during Bakers time on the hill.
Over the past six seasons, the Bulldogs have had 14 players chosen in the Major League Baseball draft, with at least two players selected each year. In 2012, five Tennessee Wesleyan players were drafted, while four Bulldogs were selected in the 2013 draft. During Bakers time with the Bulldogs, six position players have been chosen in the draft, although one of them had been drafted out of high school.
Prior to Tennessee Wesleyan, Baker spent three seasons on the staff at Bluefield College in Virginia, where he coached the pitchers, and coordinated the Rams recruiting efforts. In Bakers final full season in Bluefield he helped lead the Rams to the NCCAA National Championship.
Bakers experience includes one season in Virginia as an assistant with the Staunton Braves of the Valley League. He was the head coach of the San Diego Padres Scout Team during the summer of 2010. He spent two seasons (2011, 2012) as the head coach of the East Tennessee Bulldogs summer program.