MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Twins have made an important new hire.
Rocco Baldelli is the team’s new manager. He is coming to Minnesota from the Tampa Bay, where he worked for the Rays.
When Thad Levine and Derek Falvey were hired in November of 2016 to run the Twins front office, it was a matter of time before they would bring in their own “guy” to be their manager.
Paul Molitor extended his stay an extra year after named American League manager of the year. But after a sub-par season, Molitor was fired, and now 37-year-old Baldelli has become the youngest manager in the major leagues.
WATCH: Twins Introduce Rocco Baldelli
Baldelli was introduced at a news conference Thursday afternoon at Target Field, becoming the first manager hired by the Twins outside the organization since Ray Miller after the 1984 season.
He has spent the past four seasons on the Tampa Bay Rays staff. His last season saw him working directly with the development of the teams’ young players, which was music to the ears of a Twins franchise with plenty of young players in need of development.
Baldelli was asked about beginning that process with the likes of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.
“As I sit here right now, I don’t have any answers,” Baldelli said. “I can only say that it is a process, and I’m very much looking forward to connecting with these guys and talking with them, because just as much as I would be able to share with them, I want to hear with they have to say, and I think that’s probably the best place for me to start when talking to the players.”
As the World Series resumes in Los Angeles Friday night, it is another reminder of how far this Twins franchise has to go to reach a championship level — starting with the two young cornerstones: 24-year-old Buxton and 25-year-old Sano. Both have been plagued by injury and performance issues for years.