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.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 18, 2020
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.’’