The New York Yankees announced that Brad Wilkerson has been named an assistant hitting coach.
Wilkerson, 45, joins the Yankees’ Major League staff after spending the last three years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Jacksonville University. During the 2020-21 season, he helped lead Jacksonville to an ASUN Conference Championship. Prior to joining Jacksonville University, Wilkerson was the head coach at The King's Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla. He has also served as a coach for USA Baseball where he was named the “Volunteer Coach of the Year” by the organization in 2014.
During his Major League career, Wilkerson hit .247 (788-for-3,187) with 500 R, 193 doubles, 28 triples, 122 HR, 399 RBI and 492 BB in 972 games over eight Major League seasons with the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (2001-05), Texas Rangers (2006-07), Seattle Mariners (2008) and Toronto Blue Jays (2008). He hit double-digit home runs in six straight seasons from 2002-07, reaching the 20-home run plateau three times (20 HR in 2002, 32 HR in 2004 and 20 HR in 2007). Wilkerson was tabbed the Sporting News National League “Rookie Player of the Year” and finished second in National League “Rookie of the Year” voting in 2002 after leading all NL rookies in hits (135), runs (92), home runs (20), RBI (59), walks (81) and games played (153). During the 2004 season, he posted career bests in hits (146), runs scored (112), home runs (32), walks (106), slugging percentage (.498), OPS (.872) and games played (160). In his career, he appeared defensively at all three outfield positions (447G/361GS in left field, 232G/217GS in centerfield and 121G/93GS in right field) and first base (233G/178GS).
The Owensboro, Ky., native was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign, electing to attend the University of Florida. In three seasons with Florida, Wilkerson was a two-way player, recording a career .381 batting average with 55HR while posting a 26-11 record on the mound. After being named the 1998 National Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, the three-time First-Team All-American was selected by the Expos in the first round (33rd overall) in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft. In 2012, Wilkerson became the first Florida Gator to be elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Wilkerson also played for Team USA, winning a gold medal at the 1995 World Junior Baseball Championship and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.