January 20, 2020

Giants Hire Alyssa Nakken As Assistant Coach (First Woman On An MLB Coaching Staff)

Alyssa Nakken will be an assistant coach for the San Francisco Giants in 2020, as part of manager Gabe Kapler's staff. She will be the first woman on a major league baseball coaching staff.

Nakken, 29, first worked for the Giants as an intern in 2014, editing and logging the amateur video that scouts would load into the system and inputting scouting reports into the database.

Andrew Baggarly, The Athletic:
[Nakken] will travel full-time and be in uniform for batting practice, but will not be among the seven uniformed coaches allowed to be in the dugout during games.

But Nakken will suit up and throw batting practice. She will hit fungoes. She'll be in every pregame meeting. She will assist in baserunning and outfield defense. ...

Her background stood out to Kapler, who had interviewed newly hired Yankees minor-league coach Rachel Balkovec for a role on his major-league staff and was seeking to put together a staff that embraced diversity in every aspect.
Diverse in thought, in background, in ethnicity, in socioeconomic experience. We just wanted to create as diverse a staff to the degree we were able so that we can be a reflection of the players in our clubhouse and also in our community. ...
The really important message is that experience comes in all shapes and sizes. You look at our coaching staff and the immediate reaction is that it's young and somewhat inexperienced, and traditionally, that's true. But experience is also having a perspective that is wide ranging and diverse, and that includes having taught people at many different levels and ages and many different backgrounds. A lot of our coaches have a long history of consistent and diligent coaching. ...

She's an elite athlete and can translate those skills to help our players get better. She's resourceful, a good communicator, organized and clear in her thoughts and delivery. Before this job is anything, it's teaching. She brings a well-rounded skill set that is unusual to find in a coach. And she's extremely equipped to execute initiatives. Part of coaching is managing very large projects, which she's done in the past. All of those things are important when you're developing players and developing a culture. ...

I think she's going to be a great coach. Merit and the ability to be a great coach trumps all. And I think that players are very receptive to anything and to anyone who can help them get better.

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