Mike Breyman, hitting coach for the Gateway Grizzlies and the Frontier League's 2011 coach of the year, has been tapped to be the Joliet Slammers new field manager.
Breyman worked with the Slammers newly appointed general manager Chris Franklin in 2010 and '11 when Franklin was manager of the River City Rascals, Breyman was hitting coach and the team won the 2010 Frontier League Championship.
“This is a great day for our organization,” Franklin said in a release announcing Breyman's hiring. “Mike Breyman is a great leader and an even better person. We have enjoyed success together in the past and I look forward to working with Mike once again.”
Prior to his tenure with the Rascals, Breyman, 31, was the Grizzlies’ bench coach in 2009 and played with the team from 2004 to 2008. Breyman finished with a .325 career batting average and a .999 career OPS (on-base plus slugging).
Breyman said in the release that his relationship with Franklin, a Joliet native, played a large factor in his decision to take the job.
“Chris and I developed a great relationship in River City,” Breyman said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to manage a team in Joliet and I look forward to entrenching myself into the community.
“You can have a team with all the talent in the world but if there’s no unity, that team falls apart,” he said. “We are going to be looking for players who can thrive on and off the field.”
Before his professional career as a player and coach, Breyman played his college ball at the University of Kentucky. In his senior year of high school in Attica, Ohio, Breyman hit .810, which is the highest batting record ever recorded in a single high school baseball season in American history.
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