The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to be a popular organization for opposing teams to take from as they search for front office and coaching talent.
Senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes and assistant general manager Brandon Gomes have been the most popular names within the Dodgers’ organization, with the latter likely to be promoted to keep him around.
In addition to the New York Mets, Byrnes previously was the subject of interest last year when the Philadelphia Phillies were in search of a new president of baseball operations.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins are hiring High-A Great Lakes Loons hitting coach David Popkins away from the Dodgers, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
Twins are hiring David Popkins to be their hitting coach. He was a hitting coach for Dodgers in minors.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 28, 2021
Popkins was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an undrafted free agent out of the University of California, Davis in 2012, and made it to Double-A Springfield in 2014 before getting released.
He went on to play three seasons of independent ball before retiring and becoming a coach.
Popkins has been coaching in the Dodgers organization for the last three seasons, with his highest level of experience coming as the Loons’ hitting coach.
It is a large jump for any coach to go from High-A to MLB, but there is already a successful precedent for it.
In 2020, the San Francisco Giants hired Justin Viele to be their new hitting coach. At the time, Viele was the Loons’ hitting coach and he has now helped turn the Giants from a regressing and struggling team to one of the best offenses in baseball.
At just 31 years old, Popkins will be one of the younger Major League coaches in baseball, but it is a trend many teams are turning to as part of taking on more of an analytics and science-based thought process on hitting and swing mechanics.
The Dodgers hired hitting coach Robert Van Scoyac when he was 32 years old, and the Giants added Viele to their staff at the age of 29.
Former Dodgers GM honored
Former Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was one of 14 honorees inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.
Colletti, a native of Franklin Park, Illinois, is part of a 2021 class that includes former MLB players Curtis Granderson and A.J. Pierzynski, former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan, and WNBA star Candace Parker, among others.
No other NL general manager won more games than Colletti while at the helm of the Dodgers front office. He reached 500 victories as a GM in 2011, accomplishing the feat in 953 games, which was faster than every general manager in Dodgers franchise history besides Buzzie Bavasi (895 games).
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