He might not be a household name, but Gary Denbo has been instrumental to the New York Yankees‘ success—past, present and future.
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According to a report from George A. King III of the New York Post, the current vice president of player development is leaving the Bronx to join former Yankees shortstop and new part-owner of the Miami Marlins, Derek Jeter, in South Beach. Denbo will become the team‘s director of player development and amateur scouting.
Today is Gary Denbo's last day with Yankees. He is joining the Marlins as the director of player development and amateur scouting.
— George A. King III (@GeorgeAKingIII) October 9, 2017
Denbo has spent a long time in baseball, dating back to 1983 when he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. After playing in the minors for four years, he transitioned into coaching.
In 1990, Denbo began his first run with the Yankees and served as a manager or hitting coach for minor league teams until he became the hitting coordinator for the entire organization in 1997. Three years later, Denbo was named the assistant minor league director and in 2001 he became the major league club’s hitting coach.
He’d spend 2002 in Cleveland, 2003-05 in Japan and rejoined the Yanks in 2006, reclaiming his old job of hitting coordinator. That was short-lived though, as he left to become Toronto’s hitting coach in 2008 before returning as a consultant in 2009.
Denbo and Jeter had a tight bond, as it was Denbo who would spend time with the captain when he was in a bad slump. One of those rough stretches came in 2011, a funk that Jeter credits Denbo with helping him to escape.
More recently, Denbo has worked extensively with the team’s minor league talent. Baby Bombers like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have both benefitted from Denbo’s expertise, while others, such as Miguel Andujar and Tyler Wade, took huge jumps in their development under his watch.
It’s no wonder that Jeter would want a guy like that to help him rebuild an entire organization. Replacing him won’t be an easy task for the Yankees.