The Minnesota Twins have announced the hiring of former Tampa Bay Rays player, coach, and front office assistant.
At 37, Rocco Baldelli has become the youngest manager in Major League Baseball with the recent news of his hiring. With his hiring, the Rays will lose a key component of their organization.
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Playing in 457 games over 6 years in Tampa, interrupted briefly with a short season long stint in Boston, Baldelli was a .280 hitter. Finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2003, Baldelli started his playing career with a splash playing in 156 games, hitting .289 and hitting 11 bombs.
He would go on to battle a muscular disorder for most of his career and eventually had to hang up the spikes due to his disorder. As his playing career ended, he began a four-year stint in the Tampa Bay front office as an advisor and transitioned back to the dugout as Kevin Cash welcomed him as a coach and field coordinator.
This wide array of experiences ranging from his playing career to his front office work to his work alongside Kevin Cash gave Baldelli the upper hand while talking to numerous teams during their search for a new managerial candidate.
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With the announcement from the Minnesota Twins Organization, Baldelli will take over as the manager of the Twins, following Paul Moliter who managed 4 seasons, compiling a record of 305-343. He will take the reins off a Twins team that finished second in a very bad American League Central. Although they finished second, they ended 13 games back of the Cleveland Indians.