Yankees hire Dillon Lawson as new hitting coach



The Yankees have a new hitting coach and it’s another indication that they remain a firm believers in analytics.

Dillon Lawson, the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator since 2018, is being promoted to hitting coach, The Post confirmed Friday.

The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise, with the team increasing its reliance on data-driven coaching, first on the pitching side with Matt Blake and Sam Briend and now on the hitting side with Lawson.

Before joining the Yankees, Lawson was a college coach at Southeast Missouri State and the University of Missouri.

He also took a detour into the Astros’ organization, where he coached Carlos Correa in the minors.

Whether that connection plays a role in the Yankees’ pursuit of the free agent shortstop remains to be seen, as offseason activity has been put on hold due to the MLB lockout instituted by the owners on Wednesday night.

The Yankees remain disinclined to pay what Correa figures to demand once free agency resumes.

Dillon Lawson is the new Yankees hitting coach.
Dillon Lawson is the new Yankees hitting coach.
Southeast Missouri State University

Lawson will take over for Marcus Thames, who was let go after the season — along with assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere — and the Yankees could make at least one more additional hire on that side. General manager Brian Cashman indicated last month he was considering three hitting coaches, as well as three pitching coaches. 

Desi Druschel is also set to become assistant pitching coach after serving as the team’s minor league manager of pitch development. The hires were first reported by The Athletic.

They’ll join third base coach Luis Rojas as new members of Aaron Boone’s staff. 

Earlier Friday, Cashman said, “I feel like we are down the tracks with our major-league coaching staff. We’re dotting I’s and crossing T’s. That’s something that will be revealed here if it’s permissible at some point.”

 He spent the morning rappelling down the Landmark Building in Stamford as part of the city’s “Downtown Heights & Lights” festivities.

They also still need a first base coach after Reggie Willits decided to leave the organization.

Cashman pointed the Yankees in this direction in 2019, when he hired Briend as the organization’s pitching coordinator after he worked at Driveline Baseball.

“There are loads of technology and analytics and data which we are on top of,’’ Cashman said two years ago. “What we are not on top of we will close the gap.’’

They closed it a bit more when they brought Blake on to replace Larry Rothschild and Lawson has a similar data-driven background.

Back in July, Lawson told The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pa., the organization’s goal was “to square the ball up more, which in turn is going to increase average exit velos.”

At the major league level, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton lit up Statcast with their exit velocities, but others, such as DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela, did not.

Lawson continued: “It’s trying to create some sort of bridge from the training environment to the game, and connecting the cage to the advanced information to observing the game in the dugout, and then finally getting your name put in the lineup.”

But Lawson noted despite the analytics and numbers involved, they’re looking for the same results: “To score the most runs possible.” 


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