Following a decade with Joe Girardi at the helm, the New York Yankees will move into 2018 with a new manager. One name being bandied about among the many is Al Pedrique. In this space, BronxPinstripes.com takes a look at Pedrique in pinstripes.
As a player, Pedrique spent parts of three seasons and an infielder with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers from 1987 to 1989. Managing at the major-league level, he took over for Bob Brenly after the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks started 29-50 and finished up 22-61 for a team which ended with a 51-111 ledger. For what it’s worth, those D-backs were running on the fumes of Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, and Steve Finley. Managing at the minor-league level, the 57-year-old has 14 years under his belt, recording a mark of 827-775 for a .516 winning percentage.
In the Yankees system, Pedrique has spent the past five seasons at four different levels: Charleston, Tampa, Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Across those levels, he has posted a record of 394-309. In 2016, Pedrique’s squad won the Triple-A championship with at least 20 players who spent time with the parent club in 2017. During the 2017 campaign, his team fell in the International League finals despite losing many call-ups to the big club in New York.
Pedrique has the patience and respect of young players. Helping those young players improve and develop is proven out in his recent track record and of those players at each level, including in the Bronx. In an April 2016 interview with Shane Hennigan of the Times-Tribune, Pedrique admitted to being fine with the increased technology and numbers in the game but added, “You just have to figure out how to treat the players, how to get the best you can out of each guy on your roster.” In essence, a modern manager but one with perhaps a more personal connection with his young players, and a motivator, despite being four years older than Girardi.
As mentioned above, Pedrique has managed many of the present and future core of the Yankees, including Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Chad Green, Miguel Andujar, Chance Adams, etc. In addition to managing and fostering those young players, Pedrique has also won with those players. If you’ll recall, the same was true with Buck Showalter, who won at Oneonta, Ft. Lauderdale, and Albany-Colonie with the likes of Bernie Williams, Jim Leyritz, Scott Kamieniecki and others who helped restore the organization to respectability and a championship team. Winning, growing and trust count for a lot. He knows the organization and the organization moved him up fast.
Other than an interim stint in the desert more than a decade ago, Pedrique doesn’t have any additional major-league managerial experience. Entering your first full term managerial assignment in New York is enough pressure even during a rebuild, now try growing into a position under the same spotlight with a team expected to contend for a World Series title after falling one game shy of the fall classic in 2017.