Yankees add analytics analyst to staff: ‘great working with people’

TAMPA — At the end of last season, Aaron Judge called for the need to improve the way the Yankees funneled analytics down to their players.

Hal Steinbrenner has an answer for that.

Steinbrenner revealed Thursday that the Yankees have added Aaron Leanhardt as an analyst to the major league coaching staff, someone who will be in the clubhouse and assist with how the information is presented to players — which had been a concern of Judge and Gerrit Cole’s.

Yankees add analytics analyst to staff: 'great working with people'

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner talks with the media on Thursday.Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“[Leanhardt] is unbelievably versed and intelligent in analytics but also was a coach,” Steinbrenner said. “Great working with people, great explaining things and teaching things and listening to what the people he’s dealing with had to say. Judge already met with him one-on-one for an hour or two, working with him and he likes him.

“So he’s going to be a great addition. So many questions about significant changes, significant changes — we’re introducing somebody new to the clubhouse. That’s a significant change, as far as I’m concerned.”

Leanhardt, who has a PhD in physics from MIT and spent seven years as a physics professor at the University of Michigan, is entering his seventh season in the Yankees organization.

He spent the last two years as the club’s assistant minor league hitting coordinator after serving as a hitting coach for three low-level affiliates.

Leanhardt also previously worked as a hitting coach at Dawson Community College in Montana.

The analyst role itself is not a new one for the Yankees, as it was previously filled by Zac Fieroh.

Aaron Boone is entering the final year of his contract (the Yankees hold a club option for 2025), but Steinbrenner declined to say what he needed to see from Boone in order to secure a new deal.

“That’s something I deal with when the season’s over,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not something I’m pondering right now. There’s just so much baseball.”

Juan Soto will play his first exhibition as a Yankee on Sunday against the Blue Jays in the Grapefruit League home opener at Steinbrenner Field.

Clarke Schmidt threw two innings of live batting practice Thursday against Soto, Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Verdugo, Gleyber Torres and Trent Grisham.

“I thought he was really sharp,” Boone said. “Stuff-wise, was really good. You know Clarke, he’s competitive, so he likes the fact that he’s facing the big boys. Forces him to ratchet it up a little bit. But I’m really pleased with how he threw the ball today.”

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