Last week, we learned that the Cubs had filled an important organizational opening by hiring Vanderbilt pitching coach Derek Johnson to the be the new minor league pitching coordinator.
Now the Cubs have hired, essentially, his hitting counterpart.
Yesterday the Cubs announced that they had hired former roving Blue Jays hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce as a “Special Assistant to the GM/Player Development.” Though he isn’t being called the “minor league hitting coordinator,” he’s going to oversee the minor league hitting program, so that’s essentially what he’ll be. He’ll also contribute in other ways the organization, which is probably why he got the “Special Assistant” title.
The Chicago Cubs today named Anthony Iapoce special assistant to the General Manager/Player Development.
Iapoce, 39, will oversee the club’s minor league hitting program and contribute to additional projects within the organization. He joins the Cubs after spending the last three seasons as the roving hitting coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays. Prior to joining the Blue Jays organization, Iapoce served as the hitting coach for the Marlins Single-A Jupiter affiliate for two seasons from 2008-09.
A former outfielder, Iapoce played 11 seasons in the minor leagues in the Brewers and Marlins organizations, as well as independent ball, after being selected by Milwaukee in the 33rd round of the 1994 Draft. He reached the Triple-A level four different times and was a career .273 hitter with a .342 on-base percentage in 845 professional games.
This appears to be more of a “diamond in the rough” type of hire, as opposed to a “big name” hire (as it was with Johnson). That doesn’t mean that Iapoce isn’t well known in baseball circles, of course.