In early January the New York Yankees announced that Luis Dorante would be the Pulaski Yankees manager in 2017.
Dorante is what many would call a "baseball lifer". As a player he spent six minor league seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization. Following the end of his playing career he worked briefly as a scout for the Montreal Expos, before becoming a manager with the Gulf Coast League Expos in 1995.
In the 22 years since- Dorante has managed at the Rookie, A, High A, and Double-A levels of minor league baseball. He has spent time with the Expos (now Nationals), Marlins, Pirates, and Yankees organizations. Dorante served as a major league bullpen coach for the Marlins in 2005 and the Pirates from 2008-2010.
Yogi Berra once said "In baseball, you don't know nothing".
A quote from one of the New York Yankees most beloved icons. A quote that Dorante is fortunate not to live by.
Just take a look at his resume- Dorante has coached nearly a dozen minor leaguers who have played their way into pinstripes.
In his playing days Dorante was teammates with future Yankees catcher John Flaherty on the 1988 Elmira Pioneers of the short season A New York Penn League. Flaherty went on to play 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the final three years of his career from 2003-2005 with the Yankees. He now serves as a TV analyst for the YES Network covering Yankees baseball.
In 2003 and 2004 Dorante managed the Jupiter Hammerheads, the High A affiliate of the Marlins. Hammerheads pitcher Tommy Phelps went on to play for the Marlins and Brewers in the majors, before retiring and becoming a coach. Phelps is now in his 10th season with the Yankees organization and currently the pitching coach for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
During the 2008 season as Pirates bullpen coach Dorante worked with left handed reliever Damaso Marte, who joined the Yankees the next year and was an integral part of the Bombers 2009 World Series championship, pitching 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in the Fall Classic against the Phillies.
Dorante has also managed in the Venezuelan Winter League. In 2009 former Yankees hurler Orlando Hernandez pitched for Dorante's team Bravos de Margarita. Hernandez is still remembered for his dominance in the post season, which helped the Yankees to three straight World Series titles from 1998-2000.
Dorante's first managerial position in the Yankees organization was as skipper of the Single A Charleston RiverDogs from 2014-2016. There he managed current Yankees starting pitchers Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery and outfielder Aaron Judge, who currently leads the major leagues with 18 home runs this season.
Dorante has also worked with a number of star players in other organizations.
He managed the likes of Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera during the 2002 season for the Jupiter Hammerheads. Willis would go on to win the National League Rookie of the Year in 2003 after posting a 14-6 record with a 3.30 ERA for the Marlins. Cabrera has gone on to lead the American League in batting four times, win seven silver sluggers, two American League MVP awards, and an American League triple crown.
Believe it or not- Dorante's resume also includes managing other notable players such as Brandon Phillips, Milton Bradley, and Michael Barrett.
It appears as though this year's Pulaski Yankees skipper is an exception to Mr. Berra's rule that "In baseball, you don't know nothing." Dorante has mastered how to manage and develop players who go on to become stars in the Bronx and elsewhere.
We anticipate the same will be said in the future about this year's Pulaski Yankees roster.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.