The Minnesota Twins have named Rocco Baldelli their new manager.
Baldelli, 37, is a former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder who has spent the last four years as an assistant coach. Prior to that he spent four years as a special assistant in the Rays front office, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Three of his coaching years were as the Rays first base coach, but this past season he was Tampa's major league field coordinator, a job that had him working with outfielders and "serving as sort of an assistant bench coach to Charlie Montoyo and manager Kevin Cash," the Times says.
Baldelli has never been a manager, not even in the minor leagues, so hiring Baldelli would be similar to what the Yankees did with Aaron Boone and the Red Sox did with Alex Cora. Boone won 100 games as a rookie manager and Cora has the Red Sox two wins from winning the World Series.
Most importantly, perhaps, is that Baldelli is a good communicator who embraces analytics, the Tampa Bay Times says – and analytics is what Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine are all about.
And as Twins Daily points out, Baldelli has one heckuva brain.
"In addition, Baldelli is very smart. He posted a 4.25 GPA in high school and scored 1300 on the SAT. Among the colleges he was considering before the Rays made him the sixth overall pick in 2000 were Princeton and Yale."
Based on his Twitter, Baldelli has a passion for horse racing and dogs, and more importantly, he isn't afraid of a little snow.