Kanekoa Texeira to manage M-Braves in 2023
PEARL - In conjunction with the Atlanta Braves, the Mississippi Braves announced its 2023 coaching staff. The M-Braves will have a new manager this season, as Kanekoa Texeira (Kan-ih-koa tuh-SHARE-uh) joins the club after leading High-A Rome the previous two seasons. Joining Texeira on the bench will be pitching coach
PEARL - In conjunction with the Atlanta Braves, the Mississippi Braves announced its 2023 coaching staff. The M-Braves will have a new manager this season, as Kanekoa Texeira (Kan-ih-koa tuh-SHARE-uh) joins the club after leading High-A Rome the previous two seasons. Joining Texeira on the bench will be pitching coach Bo Henning, who reprises his role from last season, hitting coach Danny Santiesteban, who joins from High-A Rome, and coach Jefferson Romero. Greg Harrel will serve his first season with the club as athletic trainer, while Joe Powell will work as the strength coach.
Texeira becomes the 11th manager in Mississippi Braves history and will make his Double-A debut as a manager this season. It will be the Hawaii native's third as a manager. Last season, Texeira guided the Rome Braves to the South Atlantic League playoffs for the first time since 2018, finishing with a 38-24 second-half record. Overall the Rome Braves were 74-54, the most wins since 2017, which tied for the second-most in team history. Texeira has a 130-114 (.533) managerial record in two seasons. The 2023 season will be his sixth season coaching.
Texeira, born in Maui, began his coaching career in then-Rookie League Danville in 2017 as pitching coach after retiring from his professional playing career following the 2016 season. He then joined the Rome staff in 2019 as pitching coach before being promoted to manager in 2021. Texeira pitched for six different organizations (Chicago [AL], New York [AL], Seattle, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Atlanta) over a 10-year playing career that included 49 appearances (2010-11) at the Major League level. Texeira played at Triple-A Gwinnett for the final three seasons of his career, two being under current Braves big league manager Brian Snitker. Texeira was drafted in the 22nd round out of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, by the Chicago White Sox in 2006. He was previously drafted in the 31st round by Milwaukee out of high school in 2004. In 297 career minor league games, including 45 starts, he compiled a 31-35 record and a 3.56 ERA with 448 strikeouts.
Texeira was born and raised in Upcountry before attending Kamehameha Schools Kapalama. He became the fourth Major League Baseball player from Maui when he made his debut for the Mariners in 2010, following Antone du Rego in 1924, Shane Victorino (Texeira's cousin) in 2003, and Kurt Suzuki in 2007.
Texeira resides in Molokai with his wife, Leo, and their two daughters.
Henning returns for his second season as the Mississippi pitching coach in 2023. Last year the M-Braves pitching staff's 4.28 ERA ranked second in the Southern League and sixth in Double-A. The M-Braves posted a club-record 1,344 strikeouts, leading the league and ranking fifth in Double-A. Starters posted a 4.43 ERA. Prior to 2022, he was the pitching coach for High-A Rome in 2021. Henning joined the Atlanta Braves organization in June 2020 when they hired him as the Danville Braves pitching coach before the minor league season was canceled. Before joining the Braves organization, Henning was the pitching coach at Nova
Southeastern University (FL) at the very onset of the 2019 season. Henning joined the Sharks program following a three-year stint at Sacramento City College, where he helped guide the Panthers to a 36-16 record in 2018.
Santiesteban (san-tee-ES-teh-bahn) joins the Mississippi coaching staff this season which will be his fifth in the Braves organization. He served as hitting coach for the Rome Braves the previous two seasons. The Miami, FL, native began his time with the Braves as hitting coach for the Dominican Summer League Braves in 2018. Santiesteban joined the Rome staff last season after serving as the hitting coach for the Florida Fire Frogs in 2019. He was drafted in 2004 and played four seasons in the Twins organization from 2005-2008.
Joining the M-Braves as the fourth coach, Romero spent the previous two seasons as a coach for the FCL Braves. He led the Dominican Summer League Braves as manager during the 2018-2019 seasons.
Harrel joins the M-Braves for his first season in the Braves organization. The veteran trainer is coming off his second stint in the Marlins organization, last being named as trainer for Double-A Wichita in 2020 before the season was canceled. Prior to the Marlins organization, the Oklahoma native spent ten years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the last two of which were spent with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was on the Dodgers' major league training staff from 2012-13. Before the Dodgers, he worked for the Texas Rangers (1986-2003), Marlins (2004, also in Albuquerque), and Padres (2006) organizations. Harrel was twice selected to serve as a trainer at the Triple-A All-Star game.
Powell enters his first season with the M-Braves and second in the Braves organization. The North Carolina native served as strength & conditioning coach for Rome last season. Prior to the Braves, Powell was the assistant strength and conditioning coach at North Carolina A&T University. He also spent time as head strength and conditioning coach at Angelo State College (TX) and was a football strength and conditioning intern at Mississippi State in 2017. Powell was a 2014 graduate of Carson-Newman (TN), where he was a member of the baseball team and earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science. He went on to earn a master's degree in kinesiology from the University of Tennessee in 2016.
2022 M-Braves coach Angel Flores was tabbed to manage the High-A Rome Braves and replace Texeira this season. Dan Leja, trainer in Mississippi the previous two seasons, was promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett as well as strength and conditioning coach Tyler Enns.
The Mississippi Braves begin their 2023 campaign with a three-game opening weekend, April 7-9, against the Biloxi Shuckers at Trustmark Park. Season and group tickets, flex plans, and sponsorship opportunities are available now.