JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, announced on Thursday that Kevin Randel will serve as the club's manager for the 2019 season. Randel returns to Jacksonville after winning Southern League championships with the club as a player in 2009 and hitting coach in 2014. Randel is joined by pitching coach Bruce Walton, hitting coach Sean Berry, and defensive coach Jose Ceballos. Brady Fitzgerald will serve as the club's strength and conditioning coach, Joe Comando returns as the clubhouse manager, and Jacksonville's athletic trainer and video manager are still to be announced.
Randel has spent the last four years as a manager in the Marlins system, first with Single-A Greensboro from 2015-16 before the last two seasons managing the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads.
"This is a really good opportunity," Randel said. "Getting back to Jacksonville is a good place from the past with a couple of championships for me there. We've got a great staff coming and I'm looking forward to working with all of our young players."
Last season Randel led the Hammerheads to a winning season, as Jupiter went 70-64 overall and posted a 41-28 record in the first half of the season. Prior to managing the Grasshoppers from 2015-16, Randel spent three seasons as Jacksonville's hitting coach from 2012-14, helping the club win the 2014 Southern League championship. Randel also spent two seasons as the hitting coach for Single-A Greensboro from 2010-11. In his time in the Marlins system, Randel has coached major league hitters such as Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, Austin Barnes, Derek Dietrich and Jake Marisnick.
Randel was drafted by the Marlins in the 13th round of the 2002 draft out of Long Beach State, and spent eight seasons in the Marlins minor league system. In 2009, Randel hit .253 with 12 home runs and 49 RBI with Jacksonville, helping the club win the 2009 Southern League championship in his final games as a professional player.
Walton is in his first season with Jacksonville and his second season in the Marlins organization after serving as High-A Jupiter's pitching coach in 2018. He joined the Marlins after three years away from baseball, last serving as a pitching coach with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in the Chicago Cubs system in 2014. Prior to joining the Cubs, Walton spent 16 seasons as a coach in Toronto's organization. He was the Blue Jays' major league pitching coach from 2010-12, and the club's bullpen coach from 2003-09. In addition, he served as the pitching instructor for Toronto's minor league affiliates from 1998-02. He began his coaching career with Toronto in 1996. Walton enjoyed a four-year major league career with Oakland (1991-92), Montreal (1993), and Colorado (1994), and pitched in a total of 11 professional seasons. His minor league career included pitching in the Southern League for the Huntsville Stars from 1987-88. He was selected by Oakland in the 1985 draft out of the University of Hawaii, where he was named a College Freshman All-American.
Berry is in his first season with Jacksonville and his second season in the Marlins organization. He spent last season as the Marlins hitting coordinator, working with hitters at each level of the organization, including Jacksonville. Prior to joining the Marlins, Berry spent three years as the hitting coach for Triple-A Norfolk in the Baltimore Orioles organization (2015-17), after spending four seasons as the minor league hitting coordinator with the San Diego Padres (2011-14). Berry served as the hitting coach for the Houston Astros from 2006-10, and served as the Astros minor league hitting coordinator from 2005-06. He began his coaching career in 2003 in Houston with Double-A Round Rock, where he spent two seasons. Berry enjoyed an 11-year major league career as an infielder, playing for Kansas City (1990-91), Montreal (1992-95), Houston (1996-98), Milwaukee (1999-2000), and Boston (2000). He played in 860 games in the majors, hitting 81 career home runs with 369 RBI and 310 runs scored and he was a career .272 major league hitter. Berry also played in the Southern League in 1990 with the Memphis Chicks, hitting .292 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI in 135 games, and he was named a 1990 Southern League Postseason All-Star. Berry was selected in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1986 draft by the Royals out of UCLA.
Ceballos is in his third season on the Jacksonville staff, and his fifth season overall as a coach in the Marlins organization. Prior to joining Jacksonville's staff in 2017, Ceballos was a coach with the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2015 and 2016. Ceballos, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, had a seven-year playing career in the Marlins organization, reaching as high as Double-A with Jacksonville in 2012.
Fitzgerald is in his third season as a strength and conditioning coach in the Marlins organization. Fitzgerald was the strength and conditioning coach for Single-A Greensboro last season, and in 2017 was in the same role with Short-Season A Batavia. Prior to joining the Marlins, Fitzgerald spent three years as a strength and conditioning coach in the Colorado Rockies minor league system. He graduated from Loyola University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and received his Master in Health Human Performance from Canisius College.
UP NEXT: Opening Day for the Jumbo Shrimp in 2019 is Thursday, April 4, against the Jackson Generals at the Baseball Grounds Jacksonville. Season tickets, mini plans, and corporate outings are on sale now. Visit www.jaxshrimp.com or phone 904-358-2846 to secure yours today.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp offer affordable family fun at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Their inaugural season garnered the Southern League's Don Mincher Organization of the Year, Promotional Trophy and Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year, won by General Manager Harold Craw. To experience the excitement with the terrific value of ticket and group options, call the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visit www.jaxshrimp.com.