— Boomer Dangel (@boomerdangel) October 5, 2017
Tennessee baseball adds former Major Leaguer J.P. Arencibia to the 2018 coaching staff, as first reported Thursday by FOX Sports Knoxville.
“I think we’re slowly putting together the best assistant coaching staff in the country,” first-year coach Tony Vitello said in September.
Along with his coaching role, officially a student assistant, Arencibia will finish his degree at UT. He is near 60 credit hours away from earning his degree.
“I’ve bled orange since the day I stepped on campus in Knoxville,” Arencibia wrote on Twitter. “Coach Vitello and his staff have what it takes to make this program a powerhouse again, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Last time he was on Rocky Top, Arencibia smashed his way to a nationally-renowned season. He earned All-SEC and second-team All-American recognition. He was honored as a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, presented to the best collegiate catcher.
Arencibia got drafted 21st overall in the 2007 MLB Draft. He departed the Vols’ baseball program top-ten in total bases, RBIs, home runs, doubles and hits.
He announced his Major League Baseball retirement in January.
His Major League career spanned four seasons with the Blue Jays, one year with the Rangers. Arencibia appeared in 24 games with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015. Famously a catcher, he boasts a career 27% caught stealing rate and .992 fielding percentage. Three times he bested the MLB average for hosing baserunners.
Arencibia played first base for 22 games in Texas, where he also appeared for a scoreless inning of relief pitching in a 10-1 loss.
His passion for Tennessee has never waned. Arencibia attended the Tennessee vs. Georgia football game in September.
Heaven 😍 VOLS pic.twitter.com/WyyLUOjJY7
— Jp Arencibia (@jparencibia9) September 30, 2017