SAUGET — Nashville native Zach Borowiak, who served as a bench-defense coach for the Gateway Grizzlies in 2011, has been named as the team's hitting coach for the 2013 season.
Borowiak, 31, replaces Mike Breyman, who has been hired as the manager of the Joliet Slammers.
"I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," Borowiak said. "I get the chance to join a first-class organization. Everything around here is professional.
"I've been around a lot of minor league organizations and this is right up there. I'm getting into a real comfortable situation."
Borowiak, who worked with Grizzlies infielders on their defense in 2011, will continue to help in that same role.
"We are thrilled to have Zach join the coaching staff," Grizzlies seventh-year manager Phil Warren said."He brings a lot of knowledge and experience with him.He relates well to the players and I know they will enjoy working with him."
Borowiak spent six years as a player in the Boston Red organization. He was drafted in the 14th round of the 2003 draft and played in the Red Sox system from 2003-2009.
"I learned a lot during my playing days," Borowiak said. "I played with a lot of great hitters and a lot of big leaguers. I took bits and pieces from those players and different coaches I played under. I'll try to share those experiences with the players."
As a player, he compiled a .231 career batting average with 25 home runs and 205 RBI in 604 games. Borowiak spent the majority of his career at shortstop and second base.
"Zach had a good pro career and fell just short of making it to the major leagues," Warren said. "Zach and I know each other from our days together at SEMO. We played together in 2000 for that one year and became friends right away."
Borowiak is a 1999 graduate of Nashville High School and a 2003 graduate of Southeast Missouri State.
"Nashville loves their sports," Borowiak said. "I know a lot of people from Nashville like to come to games here. It's a great atmosphere at GCS Ballpark and it will be fun seeing familiar faces in the seats."
The Grizzlies' 2013 home opener is set for May 21 when they take on the Joliet Slammers at GCS Ballpark.
Season and group tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 618-337-3000.