Although it hasnâ€™t been confirmed by the team yet, the New York Yankees promoted several coaches to work with the big league team, including Desi Druschel, in early December. He had been serving as a manager of pitch development, but will now be an assistant pitching coach and work alongside Matt Blake, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media.
Kuty spoke to Rick Heller, currently Iowa Universityâ€™s head baseball coach, about Druschel, and he had nothing but nice things to say about him, most of which suggest he could be a very valuable piece for the Yankees.
â€œHe has a commitment to being excellent at everything he does,â€ said Heller. The two men know each other since Druschel worked at Iowa, from where he was scooped by the Yankees in 2019.
Heller was the one who recruited Druschel, initially as a player. Eventually, he found his way to Upper Iowa University and became Hellerâ€™s pitching coach, as well as director of baseball operations.
The Yankeesâ€™ pitchers will be getting another valuable resource
Heller said Druschel had a constant hunger to learn and was always ahead of the curve. Per Kuty, Heller knew concepts such as â€œocclusion training â€” an advanced form of pitch recognition work using video clips â€” two decades ago. â€˜He was doing charting systems and things that were so far advanced that nobody was doing back then,â€™ said Heller, who added, â€˜He was buying eight different cameras on eBay and setting them up on the field before anyone else was doing it.â€™â€
The Yankeesâ€™ big league pitchers will also be getting a coach who can get his hurlers to understand his message.
â€œHis work ethic is off the charts,â€ Heller stated. â€œAn elite level. Heâ€™s brilliant. Heâ€™s got savvy. Heâ€™s going to constantly keep pushing the envelope to learn more and be on the cutting edge thatâ€™s out there with his job.
â€œHeâ€™s constantly searching for something that is going to help his team and help the players get better, the best way possible. Heâ€™s never going to sit back and just think he knows it all. Thatâ€™s the beauty of what Desi does. Heâ€™s constantly trying to learn and get better.â€