New York Yankees making history: Set to name Rachel Balkovec as first female minor league manager

Pete Caldera
NorthJersey.com

Prior to the 2020 baseball season, the New York Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as one of the first full-time hitting coaches in any big-league organization.

This season, Balkovec will be managing a Class A minor league affiliate.

Balkovec, 34, is set to become the manager of the Yankees’ Low-A Tampa Tarpons, according to a report by The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler.

Balkovec joined the Yankees in November 2020, hired by Dillon Lawson, then the organization’s hitting coordinator. Lawson was promoted to Yankees batting coach last month.

A college softball player at both Creighton University and New Mexico, Balkovec worked as a strength and conditioning coach in the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros organizations.

Rachel Balkovec, shown in 2019, was a New York Yankees minor league hitting coach before being promoted to manager of the Tampa Tarpons.

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Balkovec’s advanced training and research for a hitting coach position was conducted at Driveline Baseball in Washington state, a performance training center with an emphasis on analytics.

“I want to be a general manager,’’ Balkovec told FoxSports.com in March. “So, I think it’s important in any kind of administrative or executive position that you understand the game from the inside out.’’

Balkovec has spent a decade in organized baseball, and she is believed to be the first female manager ever in affiliated baseball.  

In 2020, Kim Ng, who formerly worked in the Yankees’ front office, became MLB’s first general manager, hired by Miami Marlins’ COO Derek Jeter.

During the 2021 season, Balkovec was based in Tampa, Fla., as a Yankees minor league hitting instructor.