MILWAUKEE (AP) — Sara Goodrum has been promoted to minor league hitting coordinator by the Milwaukee Brewers, apparently making her the first woman to have that role in any Major League Baseball organization.
Goodrum’s official new title with the Brewers is coordinator for hitting development initiatives, but she essentially will be filling the role of a minor league hitting coordinator. Brewers vice president of minor league operations Tom Flanagan said Thursday that “to our knowledge, she would be the first” woman to hold that position in an MLB organization.
Goodrum played softball for Oregon from 2012-15 and had spent the last three seasons in the Brewers’ sports science department, working primarily on hitting. Her previous title was coordinator for integrative sports performance.
“Being able to observe her working around our hitters, it’s not like she’s coming in from some other department where she had no other interaction with our player development staff,” Flanagan said. “She’s been right there, kind of in the forefront, working with our hitters to some degree on different aspects in the past. ”
“And I think her skill set is very unique,” Flanagan added. “It gives her a very different perspective in terms of different training techniques she probably has a lot of experience with that she feels she can implement and help re-establish our hitting curriculum and help our hitters train better and be better throughout our system. Just seeing her work from afar, all of our hitting coaches and player development staff definitely have that familiarity and think that she can really impact the hitting apparatus here.”
Goodrum will be based in Phoenix, where the Brewers have their spring training home.
The New York Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec as a minor league hitting coach in 2019, and she is believed to be the first woman hitting coach employed by an MLB organization. Last year, the San Francisco Giants made Alyssa Nakken the first female coach on a major league staff. Bianca Smith begins working as a Boston Red Sox minor league coach this season, making her the first Black woman to serve as an on-field coach.
Nakken is a former Sacramento State softball player who joined the Giants organization in 2014 as an intern in baseball operations. Balkovec had previously worked as a St. Louis Cardinals minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and with the Houston Astros as a Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator. Smith played softball for two years as well as club baseball at Dartmouth and also was an assistant athletic director in charge of compliance at Division III Carroll University in Wisconsin, where she also worked as a hitting coordinator and volunteer assistant coach.