Rachel Balkovec to manage in Yanks' system

Rachel Balkovec will become the first female manager in affiliated professional baseball, tabbed by the Yankees to manage the Low-A Tampa Tarpons next season. She confirmed the news to MLB.com late Sunday night. 

Balkovec, 34, was serving as a hitting coach in the organization's rookie-level Florida Complex League. She has been a coach in professional baseball for 10 years, becoming the first female full-time hitting coach in an MLB organization when she took on her previous role in 2019. 

She briefly left baseball in 2018 to pursue a second master’s degree at Vrije University in the Netherlands, where she also worked with the country’s national baseball and softball teams. She then worked for Driveline Baseball, a data-driven baseball center that has trained numerous major leaguers, before being hired by New York. 

Balkovec has an extensive background in cutting-edge analytics, researching eye tracking for hitters and hip movement for pitchers at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven performance center in Washington State. She also has a pair of master's degrees in the science of human movement. 

Prior to joining the Yankees, Balkovec had served as a strength and conditioning coach on the minor-league side for both the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros organizations. She has also worked with the Dutch national team as a skill acquisition coach and has coached in the Australian Baseball League.