Yankees Announce James Rowson as New Hitting Coach
In an exciting announcement made on Monday, the New York Yankees revealed that James Rowson will be taking over as the team’s hitting coach. The news was shared on social media, creating a buzz among fans and baseball enthusiasts alike.
Rowson will be stepping into the role previously held by Sean Casey, who left the position due to “family reasons” after just half a season. Casey, although lacking prior coaching experience, was given the job following the firing of hitting coach Dillon Lawson when the team’s offense struggled in the first half of last season.
According to team sources, Rowson, 47, has a strong relationship with star right fielder Aaron Judge, having worked together during Judge’s time in the Yankees’ minor-league system. Known as “J-Ro” among players, Rowson served as the team’s minor-league hitting coordinator, earning respect within the organization for his work ethic, humility, and a coaching approach that aimed to maximize players’ existing skills.
One notable aspect of Rowson’s coaching philosophy is his opposition to the popular “launch-angle” approach. Instead, he favors a more holistic approach to hitting, focusing on the overall development of players’ abilities.
While Rowson’s appointment is undoubtedly exciting, it remains unclear what this means for assistant major-league hitting coaches Brad Wilkerson and Casey Dykes, who are still under contract.
The Yankees have been searching for a hitting coach who can establish the team’s organizational hitting philosophy. With Rowson’s previous experience as the team’s minor-league hitting coordinator, he seems to be an ideal candidate for the job. Additionally, Rowson has worked with other major league teams such as the Chicago Cubs, the Minnesota Twins (including the record-breaking 2019 team that hit 307 home runs), and the Miami Marlins as a bench coach. He most recently served as the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers in the 2022 season.
Rowson’s baseball journey began when he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the ninth round of the 1994 draft. He played four seasons in the minor leagues, never advancing beyond High A. Despite his modest playing career, Rowson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role as the Yankees’ hitting coach.
The Yankees are eager to bounce back from a disappointing season in which they finished with an 82-80 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. General manager Brian Cashman labeled the season as a “disaster,” highlighting the urgency for improvement in the upcoming season.
As the Yankees prepare for a fresh start, the addition of James Rowson as their hitting coach brings renewed hope and anticipation for a successful season ahead.
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(Top photo: Mark Brown / Getty Images)