(Minneapolis, MN) — The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have named Rocco Baldelli the 14th Manager in club history. This will mark the first managerial assignment of Baldelli’s career and the first time for the Twins to hire a manager outside the organization since Ray Miller in 1985.
Baldelli, 37, joins the Twins for what will be his 20th season in professional baseball. The former outfielder most recently served as the Tampa Bay Rays major league field coordinator in 2018. In that role, Baldelli assisted Manager Kevin Cash and Bench Coach Charlie Montoyo during games, worked with outfielders and focused on continued development of major league players. Prior to that, he served as Tampa Bay’s first base coach for three seasons from 2015-17 and was in charge of outfield defensive positioning. He spent four seasons with the Rays from 2011-14 as a Special Assistant to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. In that capacity, he worked with outfielders and held several scouting assignments, including serving time as a national cross-checker. In addition, he also spent time serving as a coach during the Rays Instructional League.
The Woonsocket, Rhode Island native was selected by Tampa Bay sixth overall in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft out of Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, Rhode Island. He played seven seasons in the major leagues from 2003-10 for Tampa Bay and Boston, hitting .278 (531-for-1910) with 99 doubles, 18 triples, 60 home runs and 262 RBI in 519 games. He placed third in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2003 for the Rays. He was the 2008 winner of the Tony Conigliaro Award, given by the Boston Chapter of the BBWAA to the major league player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage. Additionally, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Italian-American Hall of Fame in 2004.