KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Florida Fire Frogs today announced Paul Runge will be the team's inaugural manager. Runge returns to the Braves' organization to skipper its High-A affiliate, which will play its inaugural season in the Florida State League in 2017.
Runge, who managed 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 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 raves organization, including parts of eight seasons (1981-88) at the Major League level.
Also new to the Fire Frogs staff are the following:
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 Double-A Mississippi for the previous four seasons.
Hitting coach Carlos Mendez, who returns to the High-A staff for his fourth consecutive season, and his 10th campaign overall in the organization.
Trainer Dave Comeau, who joins the Fire Frogs for his first season after spending the previous two seasons in the same role for the Danville (R) Braves.
News of the Fire Frogs' on-field staff is just the latest in a series of announcements. In September, the team announced a four-year affiliation agreement with the Atlanta Braves, a Player Development Contract that will remain in effect through the 2020 season. Additionally, the team released its 2017 Florida State League schedule and announced the sale of season seat memberships. The Fire Frogs' inaugural season at Osceola County Stadium will start April 6 against the Daytona Tortugas.
The schedule features 70 home games and an Independence Day fireworks spectacular on July 4. Game times for all 2017 games and promotional-themed nights will be released at a later date.
Membership packages include full season (70 games), half season (35 games), partial (15 games) and mini (7 games). Full season packages start at $350 and are available by calling 321-697-3156. The team's offices and merchandise store are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com.
About the Florida Fire Frogs
The Florida Fire Frogs are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and compete in the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs play their home games at Osceola County Stadium, located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. 2017 will be the Fire Frogs inaugural season at Osceola County Stadium, having previously played at Space Coast Stadium in Brevard County. For more information, please visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com, and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.