Being told you play baseball like a girl may no longer be an insult on the sandlot. On November 22nd, the Yankees hired 32-year-old Rachel Balkovic as a hitting coach for their minor league affiliates. With this signing, she became the first full-time female coach in major league baseball history. Balkovic’s resume is impressive. She was a college softball and beach volleyball player
She’s also a CrossFit enthusiast. She has masters degrees in Kinesiology and the Science of Human Movement. She has worked with three different MLB teams as a strength and conditioning coach. Balkovic also spent time working with Driveline Baseball which is a baseball performance and research center based out of Washington DC. In her time there, she studied the relationship between a hitter’s eye and hip movement based on different pitches.
In the past decade, baseball has become more and more data-driven, so her experience will really pay off here.
As a hitting coach she will take this knowledge to the minor league team in Tampa, starting in February of 2020. When asked why she was hired, Yankees hitting coordinator Dillon Lawson told the Times, “It’s an easy answer to why we chose Rachel for this role. She’s a good hitting coach, and a good coach, period.”
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