The Atlanta Braves announced their 2016 minor league coaching staffs today, including five managers returning for the upcoming season. In addition, each of the 18 coaches on staff this season spent the 2015 campaign as a coach in the Braves farm system, with 11 of those 18 remaining in their same role and with the same club. The one new manager, Nestor Perez, will skipper the Gulf Coast League (R) Braves after spending the previous three seasons working as a coach at various levels of the Braves farm system.
The Gwinnett (AAA) Braves will return their entire coaching staff as Brian Snitker, who will be in his 40th season with the Braves organization in 2016, will lead the Triple-A club for his third consecutive campaign. Snitker was named to his first managerial position in 1982 with Anderson of the South Atlantic League and in his 19 seasons as a minor league manager, he has compiled an overall record of 1,282-1,289 (.499). In addition, pitching coach Marty Reed will serve his sixth season with Gwinnett and his eighth campaign with the organization, while hitting coach John Moses returns for his second term with the Triple-A club and his third overall. New to the Gwinnett staff is trainer Ricky Alcantara, who joins the Triple-A club after serving as the Braves' Double-A trainer for the past eight seasons.
The Mississippi (AA) Braves will feature a new manager as Luis Salazar will be at the helm for the club. The 2016 campaign will be Salazar's 13th appointment as a minor-league manager, including his sixth with the Braves organization. He owns an overall managerial record of 638-691 (.480) over 12 seasons. Pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn, who will be in his 45th season as a player or coach in professional baseball, will serve his fourth straight year as the Braves' Double-A pitching coach, while hitting coach Garey Ingram returns for his second year with Mississippi and his seventh overall with the organization. Kyle Damschroder will join Mississippi's staff as their trainer after spending the past three seasons working with the Rome Braves in the same role.
Ralph "Rocket" Wheeler, who will be in his 14th season as a minor league manager in the organization, will lead the Carolina (A) Mudcats in 2016, his second appointment as skipper of the organization's High-A club. Wheeler spent the 2015 campaign with the Danville (Rookie) Braves and owns an overall record of 1,257-1,349 (.482) spanning 23 seasons. Returning to the Carolina staff is pitching coach Derrick Lewis, who is in his 13th season with the Braves and his third with Atlanta's High-A affiliate. Hitting coach Carlos Mendez also returns to serve his third season with High-A and his ninth campaign overall in the organization. Nick Flynn will be in his first season as the Mudcats' trainer. Flynn comes to the organization after serving the previous two seasons as the trainer for Tampa Bay's Single-A affiliate.
Randy Ingle will return to the Rome (A) Braves for his second season as manager for the club and his 25th season overall as a skipper in the Braves organization. Ingle, who is in his third stint with Rome, owns an overall managerial record of 1,439-1,542 (.483). Also returning to the Rome staff is hitting coach Bobby Moore, who will serve his fourth season with the team and his 19th with the Braves' farm system. Dan Meyer will return to a coaching role as he serves as the Rome pitching coach after spending the 2015 season as the organization's minor league rehabilitation pitching coordinator. In 2014, he was the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League (Rookie) Braves. In his sixth season in the organization, trainer Joe Luat joins the Rome staff after serving the 2015 season as trainer for the GCL Braves.
Robinson Cancel takes the reigns as the new Danville (Rookie) Braves manager after serving his first professional managerial role with the GCL Braves in 2015. Cancel, who has 20-plus years of experience as a major and minor league player, skippered the GCL Braves to a 27-33 (.450) mark in his first season. Also new to the Danville staff is pitching coach Gabe Luckert, who joins the club after spending the previous two seasons as the Rome pitching coach. Ivan Cruz, who will be in his 21st season of professional baseball, returns for his third campaign as Danville's hitting coach. Dave Comeau will return to the Danville Braves for his second season after joining the organization in May 2015.
In his first appointment as a minor league manager, Nestor Perez will skipper the Gulf Coast League (Rookie) Braves. Perez joined the organization in 2013 and has served the last three years in an assistant coaching role with Danville (2013) and Rome (2014 and 2015). Mike Alvarez, who will be in his 19th season with the organization, joins the GCL staff for his first appointment with the club as pitching coach after spending the previous three seasons in the same role with the Dominican Summer League (Rookie) Braves. Rick Albert, who has been a staple in the organization since 1972, also returns to the GCL staff as their hitting coach for his third season. Nick Jensen, who is in his first season with the organization, will serve as the GLC trainer.