The position of hitting coach has been a sort of revolving door for the Yankees recently, but the organization hopes and believes it has found a solution. As of today, they’ve officially hired James Rowson to take over after the unsuccessful Dillon Lawson/Sean Casey-led 2023.
For those unfamiliar with Rowson’s work, the former minor leaguer has a rather extensive career in the majors and is no stranger to the gig.
Rowson actually started out his coaching career with the Yankees, spending over half a decade with the team’s minor league affiliates. He then went to the Cubs, where eventually he’d get his first opportunity in the majors in 2012. Rowson then came back to the Yankees from 2014-16, when he was a hitting coordinator in the system around the time that Aaron Judge and his fellow Baby Bombers of the time were coming up.
Over the past 10+ years, Rowson has bounced around a few organizations, with MLB stints working with the Cubs, Twins, Marlins, and most recently, the Tigers.
James Rowson was an assistant hitting coach for the 2023 Detroit Tigers, so this is actually a minor promotion for him. He was the top coach during his stint in Minnesota from 2017-19, culminating in the “Bomba Squad” year when they set an MLB record for homers as a team (307). Rowson was bench coach for Don Mattingly in Miami from 2020 until the Fish replaced Mattingly with Skip Schumaker prior to 2023.
It’s important to note that according to reports, Rowson will not just be working with the big league club, but also helping implement organizational guidelines in the art of hitting all the way down to rookie ball. There has not yet been word about whether assistant hitting coaches Brad Wilkerson and Casey Dykes will return in the same roles they served under Thomas and Casey.
As the Yankees’ fourth hitting coach in the past four years, well, that sort of points to the problem being elsewhere with the team’s construction. Hopefully, Rowson will be able to extract the most out of this team, ideally with some improvements in the batting order.