BILOXI - The man set to lead the Biloxi Shuckers for the 2016 season has been involved in the Milwaukee Brewers' organization for the better part of the last three decades.
Mike Guerrero, who served as the Brewers' first base coach the last two years, will head to Arizona next week to lead the Double-A squad through spring practice.
It's unclear which players will make the Shuckers' roster, but Guerrero is confident that the increasingly deep talent pool in the Brewers organization should put a good team on the field at MGM Park.
Guerrero pointed back to the days of Gary Sheffield and Jaime Navarro in the late 1980's as another strong period for Milwaukee's minor league system. That also happened to be in the middle of Guerrero's nine-year run as a minor leaguer in the Brewers' system.
"When I started playing in the organization, the Brewers were really competitive in late 80's early 90's," Guerrero said Wednesday in a press conference at MGM Park. "We went to the playoffs in five out of my nine years and won it once as a player. We were really competitive.
"A winning mindset develops good players. That's what we look for as an organization so when they get there, they know how to win. They need to develop where they don't get there just to play. They get there to play and win."
Guerrero's press conference was part of a short tour of the Coast before he makes the jaunt to Phoenix for spring training.
He has managed at every level of the minors with a career record of 953-826.
Guerrero served as manager of the Shuckers' predecessor, the Huntsville (Ala.) Stars, in 2010-11.
When comparing the Stars' former home of Joe W. Davis to MGM Park, he said there was no comparison.
"You're blessed with a great facility," Guerrero said. "It's a really nice stadium, good field. You look at the view, it's outstanding. You don't have that everywhere. If any of you guys have ever been in Hunstville, you play there and go from nowhere to almost high class."
The Shuckers are coming off a successful first season that earned Baseball America's Minor League Team of the Year. The team went 78-59 in the regular season under former manager Carlos Subero and claimed the Southern League South title.
The Shuckers will host the Brewers for an exhibition game on April 2 at MGM Park and open the regular season on April 7 against the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Guerrero describes the exhibition with the Brewers as a rare opportunity for baseball fans to see some of the game's best take the field at MGM Park.
"It's uncommon a major league team comes to a small city and brings that talent into that city and competes," Guerrero said.
Guerrero is in his first season in Biloxi, but he will have a good guide to get to know the area in his brother, Shuckers hitting coach Sandy Guerrero.
This season will mark the first time that the two brothers have served on the same staff.
"The relationship between us is unbelievable," Mike Guerrero said. "He knows when I get mad and I know when he gets mad. He knows how to treat me and how to calm me down.
"Growing up as kids, we played on the same team. Wherever he went, I was around. They called us twins. We're similar, but we're different characters. It's going to be a good environment."
Tickets for the Shuckers' exhibition game are on sale at TicketMaster.com and and at the team's ticket off at MGM Park.