Sara Goodrum New Brewers Hitting Coordinator (www.mlb.com)

MILWAUKEE — After nearly four years in their sports science department, the Brewers believe Sara Goodrum is ready to make baseball history.
The Brewers have named Goodrum to be their Minor League hitting coordinator, a promotion believed to make her the first woman ever to hold that job for a

MILWAUKEE — After nearly four years in their sports science department, the Brewers believe Sara Goodrum is ready to make baseball history.

The Brewers have named Goodrum to be their Minor League hitting coordinator, a promotion believed to make her the first woman ever to hold that job for a big league organization. She will oversee the Brewers’ hitting program throughout the organization, manage the hitting coaches at the team’s affiliates and, when the coronavirus pandemic fades, travel around the system to assist in player instruction.

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Since late 2017, Goodrum had worked in the Brewers’ Sports Science and Integrative Sports Performance lab at the team’s training facility in Phoenix.

Goodrum ranks among the women who are breaking baseball’s glass ceiling in the coaching ranks. She joins Alyssa Nakken, an assistant coach on the Giants’ Major League staff; Rachel Folden, a hitting coach for the Cubs’ Arizona League affiliate; Rachel Balkovec, the hitting coach for the Yankees’ Gulf Coast League affiliate; and Bianca Smith, who recently left Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. to be a hitting coach in the Red Sox’s Minor League system.

Women also have been breaking barriers in baseball’s front offices, most notably with Kim Ng’s ascension to general manager in Miami. Two weeks later, the Orioles hired Eve Rosenbaum to the newly created role of director of baseball development to coordinate between Baltimore’s scouting, player development and analytics departments.

“We’ve seen it work for almost four years with Sara in our organization working very closely with our players and our coaches,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “I think we’ve seen that because of her talent and her skill set, she is trusted and respected. We would anticipate that continuing in this new position.”

Said Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan: “I think [gender] is really a non-issue, where we’re at today in the game. Specifically, with [Goodrum], there is a familiarity with our hitters. She has been around the batting cage for the last couple of years, so there are relationships there, there’s knowledge of what we’re trying to do and what she’s trying to do. I think it’s kind of a natural progression for her.”

Goodrum’s official job title is coordinator-hitting development initiatives. She played Division I softball at the University of Oregon before getting a master’s degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Utah.

“We’ve gotten to know her well,” Stearns said. “She has spent a lot of her time working with our hitting coaches, working on research. Really, as we evaluated where we wanted to go with our hitting program, she became a really logical choice for us. We’re thrilled that she’s going to lead our Minor League hitting group.”

On Twitter, Brewers director of player development initiatives Jake McKinley lauded the move.

“Great news for us, and great news for Sara!” McKinley wrote on Twitter. “She is an elite technician of hitting, has great feel for people and is an awesome human being.”

The Brewers announced Goodrum’s promotion while setting their player development staff for 2021. Among the newcomers are former Brewers infielder Junior Spivey, hired as coordinator of baseball diversity initiatives, and former MLB outfielder Quinton McCracken, hired as a special assistant for baseball operations and player development. Both will be based in Phoenix.

“Junior’s role is a new one for our organization and, as far as I’m aware, a new one for our industry as a whole,” Stearns said. “During the past 10 months, we’ve taken a hard look at our organization to determine how we can better serve our players — particularly those who come from communities that are underrepresented in our sport.

“Our Black players face unique challenges throughout their journeys in professional baseball. Junior is intimately familiar with these challenges and provides a resource for our players as they navigate their baseball lives on and off the field. As the world gets back to normal, Junior will also take a leading role ensuring that our players at our affiliates are connecting with their local communities.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and like him on Facebook.



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