FLORENCE, Ky. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, and manager Dennis Pelfrey have finalized the team’s coaching staff for the 2017 season.
Two new coaches will join the club this summer, bringing a wealth of added expertise to Pelfrey’s staff.
Hayden Kelley joins the Freedom as the new bullpen coach and catcher. The Tampa, Fla. resident played one season at Miami-Dade Community College before a three-year run at Division I University of South Florida, where he graduated last spring.
“Hayden comes to us as a converted outfielder to catcher,” Pelfrey said. “This will be a unique addition to our club. As we love to have (both) a bullpen coach and catcher, Hayden will assume both of those roles while continuing to train and become a catcher. He has taken advantage of an opportunity. I don’t know of any other opportunities like this one, and he’ll work with one of the best bullpens in our league and our pitching coach, who was a fantastic catcher.”
He continued, “I believe Hayden will make huge strides in his career by dedicating this season towards his craft, while being an asset for the Freedom in 2017.”
The second new member of the coaching staff is hitting coach Zac Mitchell, who played under Pelfrey for the Freedom in 2015. In addition to his role as hitting coach, Mitchell, who hails from Memphis, Tenn., will be the team’s defensive coach.
“Zac is beginning his coaching career with us, and we are excited to have him,” said Pelfrey. “He was one of my favorite players to coach in professional baseball and as a player he brought much more than his baseball knowledge to the clubs he played on. He was a great teammate and did everything he could to help the team win.”
Pelfrey added, “Along with (Mitchell’s) knowledge of the game, the ability to coach all aspects of defense, tremendous work ethic, I believe sharing his knowledge of the approach as a hitter will be his most impactful as a coach.”
Brian White, who joined the coaching staff midway through the 2015 season, returns to the Freedom as pitching coach, and will also serve as the club’s strength and conditioning coach this season.
The Freedom home opener of the regular season is on Wednesday, May 17. Group tickets and season ticket plans are currently on sale for the 2017 campaign. Fans can guarantee seating for premium promotional dates by calling the Freedom at 859-594-4487.