Brad Wilkerson is again within the huge leagues.
The previous Apollo Excessive Faculty and College of Florida baseball star, who spent eight seasons within the main leagues as a participant, has been named assistant hitting coach for the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees.
“I’m excited concerning the alternative,” mentioned Wilkerson, 45, who for the previous two seasons has been an assistant baseball coach at Jacksonville College in Florida. “The historical past of the Yankees speaks for itself, and I stay up for bringing the data I’ve gained all through my baseball profession to work with guys who wish to be the perfect they are often.
“There will probably be each useful resource conceivable for the Yankees to win one other World Sequence, and I’ll do every part on my finish to make it occur—I am actually trying ahead to it.”
Wilkerson believes multiplication is equal elements thoughts and physique.
Wilkerson mentioned, “I’ve executed my greatest to remain updated with new issues about hitting, however in a whole lot of methods hitting is hitting. The bodily facet is vital, however from my viewpoint, the psychological facet is simply as vital. It’s a must to have a pointy thoughts and it’s a must to step up.” to the plate in the correct approach and the arrogance to achieve success.”
Wilkerson got here to phrases with the Yankees late final week, after speaking with supervisor Aaron Boone, hitting coach Dillon Lawson, a former star at Transylvania College in Lexington, and the group’s different hitting assistant, Casey Dykes, a former star at Western Kentucky. .
“It occurred fairly shortly as soon as it began rolling,” mentioned Wilkerson, who was initially referred to as by Omar Minaya, normal supervisor of the Montreal Expos when Wilkerson performed north of the border within the early 2000s. “That is how this stuff work.”
Previous to teaching at JU, Wilkerson spent 5 seasons as the pinnacle coach at King’s Academy Excessive Faculty in West Palm Seashore, Florida. He additionally coached the Orlando Scorpions, a high-profile journey ball group.
Wilkerson stays a legendary determine in Owensboro, as he has confirmed to be an excellent all-round athlete in baseball, basketball, soccer, and soccer (kicker).
He led Owensboro Southern’s All-Stars to a Bambino League World Sequence championship as a 12-year-old in 1989, earlier than embarking on a unprecedented highschool profession on the Apollo. There, as a pitcher, he led the Eagles baseball group to the KHSAA State Ultimate 4 as a junior in 1994, and was named an All-American and a Kentucky Mr. Baseball in 1995. After all, a member of the Apollo Excessive Faculty Athletic Corridor of Fame.
Additionally in 1995, he gained a gold medal as a member of the World Junior Baseball Championship-winning group.
Wilkerson was no much less spectacular on the College of Florida, the place in 1998 he gained two nationwide awards for essentially the most excellent collegiate participant.
As a real freshman in 1996, he hit a sequence of grand slams to beat the Gators’ archrival, Florida State, within the Faculty World Sequence. As a junior in 1998, he grew to become the primary collegiate participant in historical past to hit 20 dwelling runs, steal 20 bases and win 10 video games as a pitcher in the identical 12 months—once more, serving to Florida advance to the CWS.
Wilkerson holds numerous UF season data and profession faculty data, together with a profession batting common (. 381), profession slugging proportion (. 714) and profession on-base proportion (. 531). He was inducted into the College of Florida Sports activities Corridor of Fame as “The Nice Gator” in 2010, and the Nationwide Faculty Baseball Corridor of Fame in 2012.
A 1998 first-round (supplemental) choice by the Expos, Wilkerson performed elements of eight seasons in Main League Baseball with the Expos/Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays.
In 2000, he began as a quarterback for the gold medal-winning United States Olympic group in Sydney, Australia.
In 2002, he was named Nationwide League Rookie of the 12 months by The Sporting Information, after setting an Expos file with 20 dwelling runs. He hit his final dwelling run in Expos historical past in 2004, when he loved his greatest season within the league (32 batters, 39 doubles, 112 runs scored). He completed his MLB profession with 122 dwelling runs, 399 RBI and a . 247 batting common – two runs for the cycle.
Wilkerson could be the uniformed member on the New York Yankees bench.
“I am fairly certain I would not put on 99 (worn by Yankee star Aaron Choose),” Wilkerson quipped, when requested if he had been assigned a uniform quantity by the historic franchise. “Possibly I will name (Yankee nice) Don Mattingly (a local of Evansville) and see if he’ll let me put on No. 23.”