Braves announce Minors coaching staff

Maloney joins organization as Double-A Mississippi skipper

December 15th, 2017

ATLANTA -- After spending most of this decade as a member of St. Louis' coaching staff, Chris Maloney has joined the Braves' organization and gained a chance to return to his native state as he attempts to build on the success he's had as a Minor League manager.

Maloney was introduced as Double-A Mississippi's manager when the Braves announced their 2018 Minor League coaching staffs on Friday. The only other newcomer to the organization is Class A Advanced Florida hitting coach Rene Tosoni, a former outfielder in the Brewers and Twins organizations who will be serving as a coach at the professional level for the first time.

The upcoming season will serve as a homecoming for Maloney, a Jackson, Miss., native who played at Mississippi State. He served as St. Louis' first-base coach from 2012-15, and then he transitioned to third-base coach as Jose Oquendo tended to a family matter during the early months of the '16 season.

Maloney compiled a .519 winning percentage over the course of 20 seasons as a Minor League manager. His Mississippi coaching staff will include pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn and hitting coach Carlos Mendez, who both served on Florida's coaching staff this past season.

Damon Berryhill will return to serve his second straight season as Triple-A Gwinnett's manager. His coaching staff remains the same, as Reid Cornelius will once again handle the pitchers and John Moses will oversee the hitters.

After spending the past two seasons serving as Mississippi's manager, Luis Salasar will now fill this role for Florida. His coaching staff included pitching coach Mike Maroth, who had spent the past two seasons as the club's Minor League pitching rehabilitation coordinator, and hitting coach Tosoni.

Rocket Wheeler will spend his 26th season as Minor League manager with Class A Rome, which won the South Atlantic League championship under his guidance during in the team's inaugural 2003 season. He opened last season as a field advisor, and then he managed Florida after Paul Runge was dismissed in June. Wheeler's staff will consist of pitching coach Dan Meyer and hitting coach Bobby Moore.

One of the most likeable figures to play within the Braves' Minor League system, Barrett Kleinknecht will serve as Rookie Level Danville's manager. He made his managerial debut this year as he guided the GCL club. His staff will include pitching coach Kanekoa Texeira and hitting coach Barbaro Garbey.

Nestor Perez will transition from Danville to the GCL club to extend his young tenure as a professional manager. He will be aided by hitting coach Rick Albert, who has served as either a player, coach or manager within the Braves' system dating back to 1972.