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Yankees' Aaron Boone Explains How Eric Chavez Fits on New York's Coaching Staff

Inside The Pinstripes on FanNation logo Inside The Pinstripes on FanNation 12/22/2021 Max Goodman
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Chavez will work as one of two assistant hitting coaches on Boone's staff in 2022

Not too long ago, Eric Chavez was shining between the lines, flashing the leather at third base while producing elite numbers at the plate over a 17-year big-league career.

Now, Chavez is set to return to ballparks in 2022, but in a new role, one that is poised to blossom in multiple directions over time.

Chavez, 44, will work as one of the Yankees' two assistant hitting coaches next year. Speaking about one of the newest members of his coaching staff, manager Aaron Boone revealed that he's been interested in working with Chavez for a long time. 

Once he brought Chavez in for the interview process this winter, Boone said he was blown away.

"He's got a really good perspective on the game, he's very open-minded," Boone explained on Wednesday. "Where he's part of the hitting crew, which he absolutely is, he's going to be more than that. I kind of view him as a little bit of a Swiss Army [knife], where he's going to have a lot of different responsibilities, he's going to have his hands on a lot of different things and it's a role that I feel like is going to evolve as he allows it to."

Chavez began his playing career with 13 years in an Athletics uniform, winning six consecutive Gold Glove Awards in Oakland from 2001 to 2006. From there, Chavez transitioned from the Bay to the Bronx, donning pinstripes for two years.


Video: Yankees' Manager Aaron Boone Explains What Role Eric Chavez Will Have on New York's Coaching Staff (Inside The Pinstripes on FanNation)

The former first-round pick finished out his career with the Diamondbacks from 2013 to 2014. One year later, Chavez served as a special assignment scout with the Yankees, spending his next five years after that in the Los Angeles Angels organization as a special assistant to the general manager (former Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler). 

"A prominent major-league career, a great defender, outstanding player, hitter," Boone added. "Has worn some different hats already post-career from a front office standpoint. I've always just heard really good things about him and I've known him just kind of friendly and socially. So I've envisioned this role of having this guy that can kind of grow in a role and bring a presence to the coaching staff, bring a presence to the room, and I feel like he has a lot of things to offer."

Other than a brief stint as the interim manager of the Angles' Triple-A affiliate in 2018, Chavez has no prior professional coaching experience. He and Casey Dykes, another assistant hitting coach, will report directly to the team's primary hitting coach Dillon Lawson, New York's former minor league hitting coordinator.

Boone assured that Chavez has all the experience and knowledge he needs to excel in this role. The league's lockout will prevent Chavez from having an impact for now, as he's unable to interact with New York's big-league players, but come spring training, Boone expects Chavez to hit the ground running.

"I feel like he's going to have a big impact, but also be certainly part of the hitting crew where he's gonna have a lot of input," Boone said. "He's done it at a very high level in the box, and to be able to have those kinds of conversations with guys, I feel like it's really important."

Chavez hit .268 with 260 home runs, 816 runs, 902 RBI and an .818 OPS over 1,615 career games. Across 171 regular season games in a Yankees uniform, Chavez produced a .274 batting average with 18 homers and 63 RBI.

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