This will be the first season for the Pulaski Yankees at Historic Calfee Park. Pulaski will be the Rookie League affiliate of the New York Yankees big league club, and in their first season they will be lead by a veteran minor league manager, Tony Franklin. Franklin has spent the last eight years in New Jersey as the Manager of the New York Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, Trenton Thunder.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity with the Pulaski Yankees. I’ve got high hopes for the upcoming season and plan to provide fans at Calfee Park with quality baseball,” Franklin said.
Joining Franklin in Pulaski will be Justin Pope (pitching coach), Edwar Gonzalez (hitting coach), Hector Rabago (defensive coach), Josh DiLoreto (trainer), and James Gonzalez (strength coach). All together, Franklin and his staff have over 10 years of coaching experience in the minor league’s.
Justin Pope, 35, spent the last season as the rehab coach and the previous two (2012-2014) managing the Staten Island Yankees a Short-Season A level club of the New York-Penn League. Before being names Staten Island’s skipper in 2012, Pope spent time with the club back in 2010 as a coach and with the Trenton Thunder in 2011. Pope also has a long history of playing baseball where he earned a scholarship at the University of Central Florida and was a First Team All-American.
Pope was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals but played for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees organizations without stepping foot onto a major league field.
Edwar Gonzalez, 32, played his baseball career in the Yankees’ minor league systems. His last appearance came in 2010 when he was 27-years-old with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees where he played four games, had 13 plate appearances with just two hits and striking out five times. Gonzalez hit .154 with a on-base percentage of .214 and slugging percentage of .154 and a OPS of .368. Gonzalez has been a coach in the Yankees system for the last three seasons. From 2012-2013 he was with the GCL Yankees, and in 2014 he made his debut with the Charleston RiverDogs.
Hector Rabago has been given the role a Pulaski Yankees defensive coach. He comes into this season with just one season under his belt and that came in 2014. Rabago played five seasons with the Yankees minor league clubs. (2009- Staten Island Yankees), (2010- Charleston RiverDogs), (2011-2013- Tampa Yankees). Rabago was drafted by the Yankees in 2009 in the 18th round out of the University of Southern California where he hit .256 in his career and was a two-year starter — he attended Poly High School in Riverside, where he hit .384 as a junior and .437 as a senior.
Closing out the Pulaski Yankees coaching staff is Josh DiLoreto and James Gonzalez. Josh will be Pulaski’s trainer while Gonzalez will be the clubs strength coach.
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