Red Sox become MLB’s most progressive team with latest hire

Another glass ceiling was shattered by the Boston Red Sox. reports that the club has hired Katie Krall as a player development coach at Double-A Portland. This makes the Red Sox the first major league organization to hire two female coaches.

Last year, Boston hired Bianca Smith as a minor league coach.

The New York Yankees raised the bar earlier this month, appointing Rachel Balkovec as Low-A Tampa manager. Balkovec is the first female manager in affiliate baseball history.

His hiring came just over a year after the Miami Marlins named former Yankees executive Kim Ng the first female general manager in MLB history.

Here’s more on Balkovec, per Yankees PR:

Balkovec34, is the first full-time female manager in affiliate baseball history at the major or minor league level.

She joined the Yankees organization in November 2019 as the minor league hitting coach, becoming the first woman to be named to that position in professional baseball history (she was followed days later by Rachel Folden of the Chicago Cubs organization).

During the 2021 season, Balkovec served as a batting coach for the Florida Complex League (FCL) Yankees, helping FCL Yankees batters lead the Florida Complex League in runs scored (366), homers (65), RBI (312), slugging percentage (.465) and OPS (.843). The team also ranked second in walks (276), tied for second in triples (20), third in batting average (.261) and on-base percentage (.378), fourth in hits (418) and sixth in doubles. (90).

Balkovec was on the American League coaching staff for the 2021 SiriusXM Futures Game in Denver and was one of six women in uniform with Major League teams or their affiliates last season.

Prior to joining the Yankees, Balkovec spent three seasons with the Houston Astros organization, serving as a strength and conditioning coach for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2018 and the Rookie-level Astros GCL in 2017. She has also worked as the Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator since 2016-17. Previously, she was the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2014 to 2015.

Balkovec was the first woman to be hired as a full-time strength and conditioning coach in Affiliate Baseball.

Between her stints with the Yankees and Astros, she served as an apprentice batting coach for the Netherlands national baseball and softball programs while earning a master’s degree in biomechanics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands from 2018 to 2019. As part of his studies, Balkovec conducted research on eye-tracking batters at Driveline Baseball, a high-tech training center outside of Seattle, Washington.

Balkovec, who is bilingual, began his professional baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 as a minor league strength and conditioning trainee. She also worked with the Chicago White Sox during the 2013-14 offseason as a strength and conditioning coaching intern. Balkovec’s other stops and experiences include various roles at Arizona State University, the Arizona Fall League, Los Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Winter League, and a 2020 hitting coaching job with the Blue Sox. Sydney of the Australian Baseball League.

The Omaha, Neb. native earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science from the University of New Mexico (2006-09), where she was a catcher on the softball team. She went on to earn a Masters in Sports Administration from Louisiana State University (2010-2011), while also serving as a graduate assistant in strength and conditioning.


MLB Rumors: Orioles rely on former Yankees pitcher to be a high-leverage reliever, and that could be a big deal

MLB Rumors: New Provisional Shortstop Option For Yankees Emerges On Trade Market

MLB insider: Yankees signing Freddie Freeman remains a possibility

Thank you for counting on us to deliver journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting us with a subscription.

Mike Rosenstein can be reached at

Comments are closed.