Yankees make history by hiring Rachel Balkovec, female hitting coach

When Rachel Balkovec reports to spring training on Feb. 1 in Tampa, she will make baseball history. Balkovec was hired by the New York Yankees as a hitting coach earlier this month, according to The New York Times, and she is believed to be the first woman to join an MLB organization as full-time hitting instructor.

Balkovec, 32, will serve as a roving minor league instructor, per MLB.com.

She has broken barriers in baseball before. Balkovec was also the first woman to be hired in a full-time strength and conditioning position in baseball when she worked for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2014-15. She joined the Houston Astros in 2016 as the Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator, where she learned Spanish. Last year, Balkovec was the strength and conditioning coach for the Astros’ Class AA club in Corpus Christi.

Balkovec is more than qualified to serve in her capacity. She has two master’s degrees in the science of human movement, and Yankees hitting coordinator Dillon Lawson told The Times that Balkovec was hired because “she’s a good hitting coach, and a good coach, period.”

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