The Yankees are continuing to work outside the traditional lines in their minor league system, in the latest instance hiring Rachel Balkovec as a minor league hitting coach who likely will work with the organization’s lower-level clubs.
The New York Times was the first to report the full-time hiring.
Balkovec, who signed her deal Nov. 8 according to the Times report, has worked in the Cardinals’ and Astros’ systems in the strength-and-conditioning programs. The 32-year-old former collegiate softball player at Creighton and New Mexico is believed to be the first full-time female hitting coach in pro baseball.
The Yankees previously ventured outside of conventional avenues when they named Matt Blake to replace fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Blake had never worked with a big league pitching staff.
They also hired Tanner Swanson as their catching instructor earlier this month and discarded Jason Brown after he had worked for two years with Gary Sanchez, who the Yankees insist improved dramatically behind the plate in 2019 after a disastrous 2018. Swanson was the Twins’ minor league catching instructor last season.