Rachel Balkovec to make history, manage Yankees minor-league affiliate

Yankees Rachel Balkovec
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Rachel Balkovec and the New York Yankees are making history in 2022. 

Per multiple reports, Balkovec will manage the Yankees’ Low-A minor-league affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons next season where she’ll become the first female manager in affiliated professional baseball. 

The 34-year-old, who has worked in professional baseball for the last 10 years, most recently spent the last two seasons working as a hitting coach in the Yankees’ Florida Complex League.

Other stops in pro baseball included strength-and-conditioning coaching stints in the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros’ minor-league systems. She also was a skill acquisition coach for the Dutch national team and spent part of 2020 coaching in the Australian Baseball League after the minor-league season in the United States was canceled due to COVID.

During the 2021 season, she was featured on the coaching staff for the 2021 Futures Game at Coors Field during All-Star weekend.

Balkovec represents the next level of analytics in baseball as she continues to utilize her two master’s degrees in science of human movement. 

“I have a special interest in biomechanics and understanding how the body moves and applying certain things,” Balkovec said in 2019 (h/t New York Post). “For example, if there is a restriction in movement can they spot those types of things/ How is that going to affect their swing mechanics and the ability to get something done in a game situation.

Also, on the visual side of things, what are the best strategies of things picking up the ball for recognizing a pitch? There are two sides to it, and I am not sure which one is more important at this point, but I am leaning more to the visual aspect not very many people are diving into I think at this point. It’s two-fold, understanding the body from a very base level and how it applies to the swing and action.’’


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