The Yankees have made a move within their minor league system, promoting Rachel Balkovec as their new manager for the Low-A Tampa Tarpons according to The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler. Balkovec will become the first woman to ever manage a minor league team, three years after she became the first female coach in minor league history when the Yankees hired her as a minor league hitting instructor in 2019.
Balkovec began her career as a strength and conditioning coach following a collegiate career as an NCAA D1 softball player at the University of New Mexico. She got her entrance into MLB as an intern for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, and had brief stays with the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros organizations as well. Now she’ll take over for David Adams, who managed the Tarpons last season after previously managing the Staten Island Yankees in 2019 and the GCL Yankees West in 2018. It is unclear at this time whether Adams will be moving to a different position in the Yankees’ organization.
The Tarpons are currently an intriguing roster to watch develop. One of the team’s top prospects, Jasson Dominguez, was promoted to the team last year, and several prospects from the 2021 draft like Trey Sweeney, Cooper Bowman, Benjamin Cowles, and others are currently playing at this level. Balkovec will be tasked with steering them towards a leap up in the system — particularly Dominguez, who struggled out of the gate in his debut as a pro, albeit in his age-18 season.