Throughout the 2019 season, the Yankees were forced to dip into their minor leagues as the team battled through record amounts of injuries. Time and again, players arrived from the minors ready to contribute and fill the gaps. The system helped prop up the big league club, all while fielding numerous successful teams in the minors. The top six minor league affiliates for the Yankees were all in playoff contention into the last week of the season, with three winning their division titles. Now, as we head into 2020, let’s take a look at the coaches tasked with continuing the development of the Yankees’ pipeline in 2020.
Coming off a North Division championship, Scranton will see a change at the helm, as Jay Bell moves on to the Angels organization. Stepping into fill his shoes is a manger with 999 games of minor league managing experience in Doug Davis. The 57-year-old Davis has registered a 515-484 record in his minor league career that has carried him through the Marlins, Expos, and most recently the Blue Jays systems. In addition, he was a bench coach for Jack McKeon on the 2003 Marlins team that won the World Series.
The remainder of the RailRiders’ coaching staff will largely remain intact, as hitting coach Phil Plantier returns for his second season in Scranton. Pitching coach Tommy Phelps also returns to the RailRiders for his fifth season as the pitching coach.
Double-A Trenton will be looking to repeat in the Eastern League under the guidance of Julio Mosquera, who moves up in the organization after managing the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs for two years. Mosquera will know many of the homegrown players on the Trenton roster, as he has been a coach with the Yankees for 14 seasons. He has also previously managed the Yankees’ Gulf-Coast League affiliates, and the Short-Season A Staten Islands Yankees from 2015-2017. From 2006 through 2014, Mosquera was the Yankees catching coordinator, a span where he would have worked with the likes of Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine, and Francisco Cervelli.
He will be joined by two coaches moving up from Staten Island. Travis Phelps bumps up to Trenton after four years as the pitching coach for Staten Island. He will likely be reunited with top pitching prospects Clarke Schmidt and Frank German, who pitched for him on a rotation that led the NY-Penn League in ERA by over half a run two seasons ago.
Hitting coach Ken Joyce also makes the jump after two seasons with Staten Island. Last year under Joyce’s tutelage, Yankees infield prospects Ezequiel Duran and Oswald Peraza took big steps forward in with their production. It will be his 25th season of coaching in the minors, having previously worked with the Giants, Blue Jays, and Marlins.
The High-A Tampa Tarpons could have as many as 15 of the Yankees’ top-30 prospects come through their locker room this season. Tasked with guiding that fleet of young talent is David Adams, who moves up from the Yankees Staten Island affiliate.
The Tarpons will see Joe Migliaccio return for his second season as their hitting coach. The Yankees hired him away from the University of Iowa prior to last season, where he had gained a reputation as an up-and-coming coach. Migliaccio is known to be on the cutting-edge of blending advanced technology with practice techniques that generate positive results.
The highest-profile position group in the Yankees’ minor league system this coming season is going to be the Tampa Tarpons starting rotation. This group has the chance to see at least six of the Yankees’ top=20 prospects starting games during the season. Guiding this talented fleet of arms will be Jose Rosado, who returns for his third season in that role with the Tarpons. He has coached in the Yankees system for nine seasons, and served as the pitching coach for Double-A Trenton, Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, and in the Arizona Fall League.
The Charleston RiverDogs will be guided by Luis Dorante, who is returning to Charleston where he previously coached from 2014-2016. Last season, he guided the Rookie Advanced Pulaski Yankees to a division title and the best winning percentage of any Yankee minor league affiliate.
The Charleston Pitchers will be guided by 33-year-old Daniel Moskos, who finished his playing career in 2018, and has since been working for Driveline baseball. Last summer, the Yankees named Sam Briend of Driveline as the director of minor league pitching, so it is no surprise to see him bringing in a young coach who has worked at the pitching lab known for helping major leaguers like Trevor Bauer and the Yankees Adam Ottavino.
Joining Moskos on the staff will be Casey Dykes, who was hired by the organization last fall after gaining coaching experience at the University of Indiana and the Virginia Military Institute.
The Yankees’ minor league coaching staffs are made up of a combination of veteran managers with many years of minor league experience. They will be guiding and working with some very young coaches who are coming into the system with strong backgrounds of integrating the latest technologies and practice techniques to help develop the next group of players that will be called upon to help the Yankees at the highest level.