Instructor Spotlight - Mike Breyman
Mike Breyman serves as the primary hitting instructor at the Grizzlies Baseball Academy. Breyman, 32, spent seven years with the Gateway Grizzlies as a player or coach before being named the manager of the Joliet Slammers prior to the 2013 season. In 2014, he will serve as the team’s bench coach while continuing to do lessons at the Academy. Breyman will join hitting coach Zach Borowiak and pitching coach Randy Martz on eighth-year manager Phil Warren’s staff. “Mike has done a tremendous job teaching baseball at the Academy,” Warren said. “He’s knowledgeable about the game and interacts well with the young kids. We’re thrilled to have him.” Breyman served as the Grizzlies hitting coach during the 2012 season, helping lead the team to a 57-win season, a West Division title and the team’s first playoff appearance since 2008. Under Breyman’s direction, the Grizzlies finished second in the league in runs and displayed impressive improvements at the plate. “I love teaching the game of baseball at both the youth and professional levels,” Breyman remarked. “It’s exhilarating for me to see a kid have success on the field after I work with him.” A native of Attica, OH and current resident of Belleville, IL, the father of two played for the Grizzlies from 2004-2008 and held the role of bench coach during the 2009 season. He was the hitting coach of the River City Rascals in 2010 and 2011. During his playing career, Breyman put up monster numbers en route to being one of the most prolific hitters to ever wear the Gateway uniform. Upon his retirement as a player in 2008, Breyman held nearly every offensive record for the Grizzlies, including most hits, RBI and total bases. He also smacked 82 home runs over parts of five seasons with the Grizzlies. Breyman enjoyed a record-setting high school career in Ohio, batting .810 during his senior season. That record still stands as the highest single season batting average in the history of high school baseball in the United States. Breyman carried that success into a great college career at the University of Kentucky.