James Rowson set to become the Yankees’ new hitting coach in 2024

Marlins' bench coach James Rowson in 2022.
Jeremiah Dobbs
Tuesday November 7, 2023

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It appears that the Yankees have found their choice for their next hitting coach. As per several reports, the Yankees are giving serious thought to hiring James Rowson, who is currently the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers, to be their new hitting coach.

According to a source who spoke to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the team has already extended an offer to James Rowson.

James Rowson, aged 47 and hailing from Mount Vernon, New York, served as the Yankees’ minor league hitting coordinator in two distinct periods, first from 2008 to 2011 and then again from 2014 to 2016. During these stints, he worked with players such as Aaron Judge, among others.

James Rowson has also worked as a coach in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, and Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees are currently looking for a new hitting coach because Sean Casey has decided not to come back to the team. Casey was brought on board in July as a replacement for Dillon Lawson, whom the Yankees parted ways with.

James Rowson was a minor Yankees player

James Rowson was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the ninth round of the 1994 MLB Draft. He pursued a career in minor league baseball within the Mariners’ and the New York Yankees’ minor league systems from 1995 to 1997. In 1998, he played for the Cook County Cheetahs in the independent Heartland League. James Rowson did not advance to the Major Leagues during his playing career.

James Rowson had a significant role as the Yankees’ minor league hitting coordinator for six seasons. He then transitioned to the Chicago Cubs, where he served as their minor league hitting coordinator for the 2012 season. In June 2012, he took on the role of the Cubs’ hitting coach, succeeding Rudy Jaramillo after his dismissal. Following the 2013 season, James Rowson returned to the Yankees as their minor league hitting coordinator. In 2017, he was appointed as the hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins. After the 2019 season, James Rowson made a move to become the Marlins’ bench coach during the offseason. On November 15, 2022, the Detroit Tigers hired Rowson as an assistant hitting coach.

Marlins' bench coach James Rowson in 2022.

Before, James Rowson served as the Yankees’ minor league hitting coordinator for a total of six seasons, split into two separate periods. He first held this position from 2008 to 2011 and then returned to it from 2014 to 2016. Additionally, James Rowson played as an outfielder in the minor leagues for the Yankees in 1997, having begun his professional playing career with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners selected him in the ninth round of the MLB Draft, and he originally came from Mount St. Michael High School in the Bronx, New York.

Notably, during James Rowson’s tenure as the hitting coach, the Minnesota Twins set a major league record in 2019 with 307 home runs. Afterward, he assumed the role of bench coach for the Miami Marlins, where he was part of the coaching staff under the leadership of Yankees legend Don Mattingly. The year 2023 marked his 21st season as a professional coach.

In 2023, the Yankees faced challenges due to injuries and the underperformance of some veteran players, which led to them going through two hitting coaches. Initially, Dillon Lawson was let go during the season, marking the first in-season firing in Brian Cashman’s career as general manager. Subsequently, the Yankees brought in Casey to serve as the hitting coach for the second half of the season.

The Yankees were quite pleased with the improved communication under Casey, but he has recently revealed that he won’t be returning due to family-related reasons.

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