CORVALLIS — Former Oregon State catcher Mitch Canham will be Oregon State’s new head baseball coach.
Canham, 34, was in his fourth season as a manager in the Seattle Mariners’ organization, his first at the Double-A level with Arkansas in the Texas League. The Travelers (42-21) have by far the best record in this league and have clinched the North Division first-half pennant.
The new OSU coach was slated to be presented at a press conference Friday morning in Corvallis.
Canham, was the left-handed hitting catcher on the Beavers’ College World Series championship clubs of 2006 and ’07. Former coach Pat Casey — whom Canham will replace — considers him as fine a leader as he had during his 24 years as Oregon State’s head coach.
The Lake Stevens, Washington, native was a first-round draft pick by San Diego after his senior year in 2007. Canham played nine seasons of pro ball, including four stints in Triple-A — and nine games with the Portland Beavers in 2010.
In his first season with the Seattle organization in 2016, he managed Class-A Clinton (Iowa) to 86 wins in the Midwest League, setting an 80-year record for wins at the low A level. Canham was named the franchise’s Employee of the Year by the player development division. The next year at mid-level A, his Modesto team won the California League title and he was honored as the organization’s Manager of the Year.
Andy McKay, the Mariners’ director of player development, said this week that he considered Canham major league managerial material. But Canham told the Portland Tribune on Tuesday that Oregon State is his “dream job.”
Canham also said he is very interested in retaining Oregon State’s coaching staff, including Pat Bailey, who took over for Casey on an interim basis this season. Canham, who has remained close to the OSU program, also mentioned pitching coach Nate Yeskie, third-base coach Andy Jenkins and first-base coach Ryan Gipson.