Minor League Baseball Manager; First Woman to Work as a Full-Time Manager of a Major League-Affiliated Team
Rachel Balkovec was hired as MLB’s first female manager in January, 2022. She is in her first season with the Yankees Low A affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons. She was moved to this role after completing her second season as a minor league hitting coach with the New York Yankees. She is the first woman (alongside Rachel Folden of the Chicago Cubs) to hold that title in the history of professional baseball.
She joined the Yankees in 2019 after completing her second master’s degree in biomechanics in the Netherlands. While in Amsterdam, she served as an apprentice hitting coach for the Netherlands national softball and baseball programs and went on to complete her research in eye tracking at Driveline Baseball, the world leading baseball performance research facility located in Seattle, Washington.
Previous to crossing over to being a hitting coach, she spent 7 seasons in professional baseball as a strength and conditioning coach in various roles with the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. In addition to her more recent groundbreaking role with the Yankees, she was also the first woman to be hired full time as a strength and conditioning coach in MLB and the second woman to be hired as a strength coach by any men’s professional sports team in history.
Before entering professional baseball in 2012 as an intern for the St. Louis Cardinals, she was a graduate assistant at Louisiana State University and an intern with Los Tigres Del Licey Beisbol, The Chicago Whitesox, Arizona State University and EXOS. The Omaha native is a former NCAA Division I softball catcher and has special interest in organizational culture and behavioral psychology. She has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, and a master’s degree in Sport Administration from LSU.
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