The Braves played their last game of spring training today and while the major league team is about to begin their regular season, the ramp up to the 2021 minor league season is really just beginning. We will see more formalized minor league camps and, over time, roster announcements that will determine who is starting where in the system. Much of that news is still a few weeks away.
However, the first thing that the Braves needed to do is figure out who is going to be coaching these prospects at each level. With the massive minor league reorganization that occurred, this was easier said that done and I heard the same name mentioned as a possibility as skipper at all four levels of the minor leagues over the last couple months. Fortunately, we have some news on that front as the Braves announced their minor league staffs today.
Starting in Triple-A, Matt Tuiasosopo gets the nod as Gwinnett’s manager after completely his first season as a manager in 2019 for the Rome Braves. Mike Maroth returns as the highly regarded pitching coach for Gwinnett with Carlos Mendez (Hitting Coach), former Braves farmhand Wigberto Nevarez (Coach), TJ Saunders (Athletic Trainer), and Paul Howey (Strength Coach) rounding out the Gwinnett staff.
In Double-A, Mississippi will be managed by a newcomer to the Braves organization in Wyatt Toregas who had coached in the Pirates’ minor league system before this move. The excellent and hilarious Dan Meyer continues his climb through the minor leagues as Mississippi’s pitching coach with Einar Diaz (Hitting Coach), Dan Leja (Athletic Trainer), and Ryan Meehan (Strength Coach) closing out the staff there.
High-A features a number of changes as not only does Rome move up a level, but there are some shake-ups on the staff as well. Kanekoa Texeira, who was previously a big leaguers and Braves minor leaguer himself, was named manager of the Rome Braves after a two year stint as Danville’s pitching coach and then a year as Rome’s pitching coach in 2019. Bo Henning will be your Rome pitching coaching with Danny Santiesteban (Hitting Coach), Angel Flores (Coach), Bobby Moore (Coach), Jesus Aviles (Athletic Trainer) and Tyler Enns (Strength Coach) round out the staff. Special shout out to Bobby Moore for his return to Rome. Easily one of the nicest guys in baseball I have ever met and I really look forward to seeing him again.
The newcomer to the organization, the Augusta Greenjackets, will be managed by Michael Saunders who just recently retired from the big leagues with Elvin Nina (Pitching Coach), Mike Bard (Hitting Coach), Myles Schroder (Coach), Austin Smith (Athletic Trainer) and Kyle Lindsey (Strength Coach) forming the rest of the GreenJackets’ coaching spots.
Stay tuned, folks....minor league baseball is coming back.