|Front Office Biographies|
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Kevin Towers, one of baseball's most respected general managers, enters his fourth full season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He enters 2014 with 17 years of experience as a Major League general manager to join the Oakland Athletics' Billy Beane and the San Francisco Giants' Brian Sabean as the fifth longest-tenured active GM in Major League Baseball. Only the Detroit Tigers' Dave Dombrowski (25 years), Cincinnati Reds' Walt Jocketty (19), New York Mets' Sandy Alderson (18) and Milwaukee Brewers' Doug Melvin (18) have more experience among MLB's current group of general managers.
During his tenure as D-backs General Manager, the team has won the N.L. West Division (2011) while several team members have garnered recognition, including NL Hank Aaron Award winner and NL MVP runner-up Paul Goldschmidt (2013), NL Defensive Player of the Year Gerardo Parra (2013), Rookie of the Year runner-up Wade Miley (2012), Manager of the Year Kirk Gibson (2011), three Gold Glove Awards and four Silver Slugger Awards.
Since taking the reins of the D-backs, the team has posted a .527 winning percentage, the second-best mark in the NL West. Overall, Towers has 1,369 wins as a general manager, one of eight current GMs to post at least 1,300 victories during their career.
In his first season at the helm of the D-backs' baseball operations in 2011, the team won 94 games and the National League West Division title just one season after finishing in last place with 97 losses. As a result of the 29-game turnaround, Towers finished third in The Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year voting.
Of the D-backs' 40-man roster entering the season, every player with the exception of Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra were either acquired by Towers via trade or free agency or reached the Majors under his watch. Among his most significant additions have been Bronson Arroyo, Eric Chavez, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, J.J. Putz, Addison Reed, Mark Trumbo and Brad Ziegler. Eight of the D-backs' Top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America, were acquired by Towers via trade or drafted under his direction, including the two atop the list - Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley.
At the Minor League level, D-backs affiliates have won five league championships and made 11 playoff appearances over the past three seasons while several coaches have been promoted to Major League positions around baseball. During that time, 21 D-backs Minor Leaguers have made their Major League debuts.
On the international level, Towers has helped raise the global presence of the D-backs, signing the organization's first players from Japan, Brazil and Germany. The D-backs hosted the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and will host the historic 2014 MLB Opening Series in Sydney, Australia this season. He has taken goodwill trips to Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic on behalf of the team and as an avid traveler, has visited more than 30 countries during his lifetime, including all seven continents.
Towers joined the D-backs following one season as a special assignment scout for the New York Yankees in 2010. Prior to holding that position, he served as GM of the San Diego Padres from 1996-2009. During that period, the Padres reached unprecedented heights under his leadership, including winning four of the franchise's five National League West championships in 1996, 1998, 2005 and 2006 and advancing to the World Series in 1998 against the Yankees. San Diego's 2007 club fell one game shy of advancing to the postseason for a third straight year after losing a tie-breaker game to the Colorado Rockies for the league wild-card berth. The Padres had the fourth-most wins (346) in the National League from 2004-07 after Towers constructed an organizational-best 23-game turnaround from 2003 to 2004 to set the Padres' successful run of four consecutive winning seasons during the team's first four years in PETCO Park.
The Medford, Ore., native first joined the Padres when he was selected in the first round of the 1982 First-Year Player Draft after earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a right-handed pitcher for Brigham Young University. Towers was a Texas League All-Star in 1984 and pitched seven seasons in San Diego's farm system before a series of arm operations ended his playing career at Triple-A Las Vegas in 1988.
Towers began his post-playing career as an area scout for the Padres in Texas and Louisiana from 1989-91. During the summers of 1989 and 1990, he also served as pitching coach for the organization's short-season Single-A affiliate in Spokane, Wash., with the club winning Northwest League championships in both seasons. After two years with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a regional and national crosschecker, Towers returned to the Padres as Director of Scouting in August 1993, a position he held until being named General Manager on Nov. 17, 1995.
Towers and his wife, Kelley, have two bulldogs, Arlow and Stella. He was inducted into the Medford Sports Hall of Fame in April 2007.
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