The New York Yankees have officially hired James Rowson as their new hitting coach, according to Greg Joyce at the Post.
Official: James Rowson is the new Yankees hitting coach
— Greg Joyce (@GJoyce9) November 13, 2023
The Yankees also confirmed Rowson’s hiring with an official statement. Rowson succeeds Sean Casey, who took over midseason after Dillon Lawson was fired. He will be New York’s fourth hitting coach since Aaron Boone took over as manager in 2018.
As for his resume, James Rowson checks all of the boxes. He has over two decades of coaching experience following a short playing career in the minors. Rowson spent last year as an assistant hitting coach with the Detroit Tigers and also served as the Marlins’ bench coach for three seasons.
Rowson’s career highlight, however, was as the Twins’ hitting coach in 2019. Minnesota, thanks to some heavily juiced baseballs, slugged a record 307 home runs as a team. The Yankees were right behind them at a healthy 306.
And not to keep playing the James Rowson Resume Greatest Hits, but the job he had before Minnesota is what matters. He served as the Yankees’ minor league hitting coordinator for four years. In layman’s terms, a coordinator’s job is to set the tempo for an entire organization’s farm system. All hitting and pitching philosophies from Rookie ball up to Triple-A come back to the minor league coordinators.
Some added context, current pitching coach Matt Blake was a minor league coordinator for Cleveland before the Yankees hired him. Similarly, Lawson served in Rowson’s old coordinator role before being promoted to MLB hitting coach in 2022.
So why does this matter? Because it was Rowson’s ideas and development plan that gave the Yankees a homegrown superstar in Aaron Judge. The same applies to former Yankees youngsters Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird. Sure, injuries and inefficiencies kept both from long-term Bronx stardom, but make no mistake. It all comes back to James Rowson.
He’s a strong communicator with ties to the team and, as an added bonus, lives in nearby Mount Vernon. He recognizes that there’s utility to analytics, but also that not every hitter needs that approach.
Needless to say, between James Rowson and potential future bench coach Andrew Bailey? This is one hell of a coaching makeover for the New York Yankees.