Yesterday it was reported by multiple sources that New York Yankees Director of Player Development Gary Denbo would be heading to the Miami Marlins to work for long-time friend and mentee Derek Jeter. With that, the Yankees are left with a huge hole to fill at the top of their player development department, and some big shoes to fill.
Denbo took over as the head of the department in 2015, replacing Mark Newman, and has presided over one of the most significant turnarounds in baseball history. The Yankees were never one to shy away from talent, but they struggled with developing that talent into solid MLB contributors, but under Denbo that all changed.
With Denbo in charge, the Yankees were able to produce guys like Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and more. So, the question is who will replace him? Let’s take a look at some of the options they have internally.
McMahon has been with the Yankees since the 2008 season when he managed the Staten Island Yankees of the NY-Penn League. From 2009-2016 he served as the Director of International Player Development and this past season as the Assistant Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator.
In 2014 McMahon interviewed for the Vice President of Player Development job that eventually went to Denbo. He is well-liked by players in the organization and served as the college coach for several of the Yankees minor league coaches including Director of Dominican Republic Operations Mario Garza and hitting guru Ty Hawkins. McMahon has a proven track record of developing players and his experience working with some of the Yankees top international talent the past several years could be a huge advantage for him.
McMahon has a proven track record of developing players and his experience working with some of the Yankees top international talent the past several years could be a huge advantage for him.
Among his many awards are the ABCA Lefty Gomez Award in 2016, induction into the Old Dominion University Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and an upcoming induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 2018.
Prior to joining the Yankees, he was the head coach at the University of Florida from 2001-2007. He also served as head coach at Old Dominion University (1990-1994) and Mississippi State (1998-2001).
Currently the Director of Minor League Operations, Schmitt was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2000 and spent six seasons in the organization and then played for the Braves in 2006. In 2008 he rejoined the Yankees as Assistant Director, Player Development before moving on to Assistant Director, Baseball Operations from 2010-2012 and then Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting from 2013-2014. IN 2015 he got his current title. It was Schmitt’s idea to call the annual mini-camp for the Yankees’ top prospects “Captains Camp.”
Like McMahon, Kremer was one of several that interviewed for Denbo’s job in 2014. Kremer has been the Yankees’ Director of Performance Science since 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Player Personnel from 2013 and 2014 as well as Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting from 2005-2012.
As Director of Performance Science, Kremer has been responsible for coordinating the departments that impact how the players perform on the field which includes nutrition, medical, coaching and more. Before joining the front office, Kremer played in the organization from 1999-2003, reaching as high as Double-A Trenton in 2003.
Naehring has served as the Yankees Vice President of Baseball Operations, a post he has filled since 2015 since taking over for Billy Eppler. He joined the Yankees in 2007 as a scout and has since become a vital part of the organization. It was reported earlier this year just how much Yankees GM Brian Cashman relies on Naehring to help vet player acquisitions. Cashman praised his ability to evaluate talent in the article in the NY Daily News, after all, he was the person responsible for the Yankees acquiring shortstop Didi Gregorius.