The Atlanta Braves announced their 2017 Minor League coaching staffs today, which include 13 staff members returning for the upcoming season.The Gwinnett (AAA) Braves will feature a new manager as Damon Berryhill will skipper the Triple-A club in 2017. Berryhill, 52, joins the organization after spending seven seasons, from 2009
The Atlanta Braves announced their 2017 Minor League coaching staffs today, which include 13 staff members returning for the upcoming season.
The Gwinnett (AAA) Braves will feature a new manager as Damon Berryhill will skipper the Triple-A club in 2017. Berryhill, 52, joins the organization after spending seven seasons, from 2009 to 2015, as a Minor League manager in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. During his tenure in their farm system, Berryhill guided five of his seven teams to postseason play, and in 2015 was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. Overall, Berryhill owns a career managerial record of 418-387 (.519) over eight seasons. The former catcher played 10 seasons (1987 to 1997) at the Major League level and was a member of the Braves for parts of three seasons, from 1991 to 1993. Berryhill retired from professional baseball following the 1997 season and began his coaching career in 2002 with the Los Angeles Angels organization. He has also spent time as a coach for the Texas Rangers (2005 to 2008) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2003 and 2004).
In addition, Gwinnett will feature a new pitching coach as Reid Cornelius will lead the staff. Cornelius comes to the Braves after spending the previous 14 seasons with the Miami Marlins, his last seven as the bullpen coach. In his first seven seasons with the Marlins organization, Cornelius worked as a pitching coach at their Single-A and Double-A levels. The former right-hander played professionally for 12 seasons from 1989 to 2000, including working in 45 games at the Major League level. Hitting coach John Moses returns for his third term with the Triple-A club and his fifth overall in the Atlanta organization, while trainer Ricky Alcantara returns for his second season with Gwinnett.
Luis Salazar returns to manage the Mississippi (AA) Braves for his second consecutive season with the club. The 2017 campaign will be Salazar's 14th appointment as a Minor League manager, including his seventh with the Braves organization. He owns an overall managerial record of 711-756 (.485) over 13 seasons. Mississippi will feature a new pitching coach and a new hitting coach as Derrick Lewis and Ivan Cruz will join the Double-A team. Lewis joined the organization in 2004 and spent the last three seasons as the High-A pitching coach. Cruz came to the organization in 2014 and worked his first three seasons as the Danville (R) Braves hitting coach. Kyle Damschroder returns to Mississippi's staff as its trainer for his second consecutive season.
Paul Runge returns to the organization to skipper Atlanta's High-A affiliate, which will play its inaugural season as the Florida Fire Frogs in the Florida State League. Runge, who managed for 14 seasons in Atlanta's farm system from 1994 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2010, spent the last six seasons as the field coordinator for the Houston Astros. In his previous stint with the Braves, Runge was twice named as the Appalachian League Manager of the Year (2007 and 2009), and was also selected as Atlanta's Manager of the Year in 2006 and 2009. He owns a career Minor League managerial record of 720-739 (.493). The former infielder was a ninth-round draft selection by Atlanta in 1979 and played the majority of his career with the Braves organization, including parts of eight seasons (1981 to 1988) at the Major League level. Also new to the Fire Frogs staff is pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn, who will be in his 35th season as a coach in professional baseball, and his fifth in the Braves organization. Lewallyn joins the High-A staff after serving in the same role with the organization's Double-A team for the previous four seasons. Hitting coach Carlos Mendez returns to the High-A staff for his fourth consecutive season, and his 10th campaign overall in the organization. Trainer Dave Comeau joins the Fire Frogs for his first season after spending the previous two seasons in the same role for the Danville (R) Braves.
The 2016 South Atlantic League Champion and Baseball America's Organization of the Year Rome (A) Braves will return its entire coaching staff, as manager Randy Ingle will skipper the club for his third consecutive season. The 2017 campaign represents Ingles' 26th season as a skipper in the Braves organization. The veteran manager has spent time at five different levels within Atlanta's farm system and owns an overall managerial record of 1,509-1,611 (.484). Also returning to the Rome staff is pitching coach Dan Meyer and hitting coach Bobby Moore, who will serve their second and fifth seasons, respectively. Trainer Nick Jensen joins the Rome club from the Gulf Coast League Braves, where he spent the 2016 year, his first in the organization.
Nestor Perez takes the reigns as the new Danville (Rookie) Braves manager after serving his first professional managerial role with the Gulf Coast League Braves in 2016. Perez, who worked as a coach during his first three seasons with the organization, skippered the GCL Braves to a 28-28 (.500) mark and the GCL Northern Division League title in his first season as a manager. Also new to the Danville staff is pitching coach Kanekoa Texeira, who joins the club after retiring from his professional playing career following the 2016 season. Texeira spent his final three seasons (2014-2016) pitching for the Braves' Triple-A affiliate, and overall had a 31-35 record with a 3.56 ERA over 297 Minor League games spanning 10 seasons. Barbaro Garbey joins the Danville staff after spending the previous three-plus seasons as a coach in the organization, most recently with Double-A Mississippi during the 2016 season. Vic Scarpone will work as Danville's trainer in his first season in the organization.
In his first appointment as a Minor League manager, Barrett Kleinknect will skipper the Gulf Coast League (Rookie) Braves. Kleinknect, who retired as a player following 2016 Minor League spring training, worked as a coach with Atlanta's Single-A affiliate (Rome) during the 2016 season. The former infielder and 2010 Atlanta Draft selection played in 516 career Minor League games over six seasons with a .239 batting average, 37 home runs and 192 RBIs. New to the GCL staff is pitching coach Larry McCall. The former Major League pitcher, who has over 25 years of coaching experience, joins his third organization. Most recently McCall worked as a pitching coach in the San Francisco Giants farm system. Rick Albert, who has been a staple in the organization since 1972, returns to the GCL staff as their hitting coach for his fourth season. Drew Garner will work his first season in the organization as GCL's trainer.