BLASER TABBED AS 2022 HUDSON VALLEY RENEGADES MANAGER
Former Yankees minor league catcher highlights a new field staff for Hudson Valley
WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. (March 24, 2022) – The New York Yankees announced their minor league field and support staffs for the 2022 season on Thursday. Tyson Blaser will take over as the manager of the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Yankees High-A affiliate.
Blaser takes over at the 17th manager in team history and second in the Yankees era. He is joined on the coaching staff by Pitching Coach Spencer Medick (1st season), Hitting Coach Rob Benjamin (1st season) and Defensive Coach José Javier (1st season). They will be joined by Athletic Trainer Jonathan Becker (1st season), Strength Coach Danny Smith (2nd season), Clubhouse Manager Ryan Shute (2nd season), Video Manager Sullivan Lyons (1st season) and Advance Scouting Analyst Steven Dimaria (1st season).
After a four-year playing career as a catcher and first baseman in the Yankees organization, Blaser begins his sixth season with Yankees Player Development. He spent the 2021 season as the manager of the FCL Yankees, who finished with a 36-16 record, the best in the FCL North Division and second-best in the 18-team Florida Complex League.
Prior to his being named as the skipper of the FCL squad, Blaser served as an assistant coach in the organization with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (2017), the GCL Yankees 1 (2018) and the Short Season-A Staten Island (2019). He was set to manage the Rookie-level Pulaski Yankees in 2020 before the season was canceled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blaser was an All-Big Ten and a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree at the University of Iowa, where he earned a degree in history and secondary education. After his playing career and before joining Yankees Player Development, he was a baseball coach and history teacher at United Township High School in East Moline, Illinois.
Medick begins his first season in the Yankees organization in 2022 and makes his professional coaching debut with Hudson Valley. He previously served as a throwing trainer at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven baseball player development center in Kent, Washington from 2019-22. Before joining Driveline, he was the lead throwing trainer at Prime Sports Performance, and athletic training facility in Glen Arm, Maryland from 2018-19.
He began working at Prime Sports Performance after finishing a four-year professional career as a left-handed pitcher. Medick pitched for the AZL Diamondbacks in 2014, going 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA (30.2IP/4ER) and 32K in 15 relief appearances. He then spent three seasons playing independent baseball in the Frontier League with the Southern Illinois Miners (2015), Joliet Slammers (2015-16, 18) and Evansville Otters (2018).
He embarked on his professional career after pitching collegiately at Hampden-Sydney College (2010), Polk State College (Fla.) (2011), and Elon University (2012, 13). He graduated from Elon with a bachelor's degree in business administration and management.
A resident of nearby Cornwall, New York, Benjamin begins his first season coaching in the Yankees organization after spending the previous three seasons with the Seattle Mariners. In 2021 he served as the hitting coach for the Low-A Modesto Nuts, overseeing an offense that led Low-A West in AVG (.277), OBP (.371) and walks (545), and finished second in doubles (253) and runs scored (722) despite playing only 115 games.
Benjamin enjoyed a standout playing career at NJCAA powerhouse Tallahassee Community College before transferring to Baruch College in New York. He led Baruch to the CUNYAC Championship in 2001 and won CUNYAC Player of the Year and was a Division III All-American Honorable Mention.
After college, Benjamin signed a professional contract with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League, and spent 17 years as an instructor at Baruch College (2002-05), City College of New York (05-07), St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn (2010) and at elite training facilities across America. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Javier enters his sixth season in the Yankees organization and his first with Hudson Valley in 2022, after spending 2021 with the Double-A Somerset Patriots as a defensive coach. He was scheduled to spend the 2020 season with Double-A Trenton before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Javier previously served as the lower level baserunning and outfield coordinator in 2019, and as the defensive coach for A-Advanced Tampa in 2018 and Single-A Charleston in 2017.
He began coaching after a six-year playing career in the Yankees organization, having been signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010. In 277 career games, he hit .250 (220-for-879) with 136R, 39 doubles, 13 triples, 13HR, 114RBI, 90BB and 56SB in 277 games.
Becker joins the Renegades for his sixth season in the Yankees organization, having spent 2021 as the Athletic Trainer for the FCL Yankees, and from 2017-2020 with Staten Island. Prior to his tenure with the Yankees, Becker served as an athletic trainer for HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital and Nashville Community High School, both in Illinois. He graduated from McKendree University in 2013 with a B.S. in Athletic Training and interned in the Puget Sound Collegiate League in 2014.
Smith begins his second season as the Renegades strength coach and sixth with the Yankees organization in 2022. Previous to his work with Hudson Valley in 2021, Smith spent three seasons (2018-2020) with Staten Island and one (2017) with Rookie-level Pulaski. Before joining the Yankees, Smith was the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for both Western Kentucky University in 2016-17 and the University of South Florida in 2015-16. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford with a B.S. in Sports Medicine in 2014, and earned his M.S. in Sport and Exercise Science at Gannon University in 2015, where he served as a Graduate Assistant.
Shute begins his second year as the Clubhouse Manager, and fourth in the organization, while Lyons and Dimaria each begin their first seasons in the Yankees organization in 2022.
The Renegades were managed in 2021 by Dan Fiorito, who guided the team to a 71-49 record and a High-A East North Division Championship. His .592 winning percentage is second-best in team history, surpassed by only Charlie Montoyo’s .658 mark in one season guiding the Renegades in 1998. Fiorito departs to take over as the manager of the Double-A Somerset Patriots.
ABOUT THE HUDSON VALLEY RENEGADES
The Renegades are in their second season as the High-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. They have played their home games at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. since 1994. The Renegades open the 2022 season on Friday, April 8 at the Greenville Drive with a nine-game road trip before returning home for the hope opener at The Dutch on Tuesday, April 19 against the Brooklyn Cyclones. Single-game tickets are on sale now at https://www.milb.com/hudson-valley/tickets/single-game-tickets, by phone at (845) 838-0094 or at the ticket office at The Dutch.
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