Lindsey Adler of The Athletic broke some news that shook the baseball world on Sunday evening, announcing that minor league hitting coach Rachel Balkovec would be named the Tarpons’ new manager for the 2022 season.
Sources: Rachel Balkovec, who joined the Yankees organization as a minor-league hitting coach in 2019, will serve as the manager for the Low A Tampa Tarpons next season.
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) January 9, 2022
Balkovec, who will become the first ever female to manage in affiliated ball in a full-time capacity, was previously the hitting coach for the FCL Yankees in 2021.
Prior to landing in the Yankees organization in 2019, Balkovec was a strength and conditioning coach with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Appalachian League team. Balkovec has also worked with the Houston Astros organization in the Dominican Republic and with their AA affiliate.
Balkovec has attained two Masters degrees in human movement sciences, and was brought over to the Yankees by their now hitting coach, Dillon Lawson, from a fellowship with Driveline Baseball.
The 34-year-old Balkovec was a catcher with both Creighton University’s softball team as well as with the University of New Mexico, the latter of which she graduated from with a degree in exercise science in 2009.
The remainder of the Tarpons coaching staff has yet to be named, but will presumably stick with their existing crew given the performance seen in 2021.