The New York Yankees have a new minor league catching coordinator this year. J.D. Closser takes over from Josh Paul who left the Yankees this past off-season to become the bench coach for the Los Angeles Angels.
Closser is entering his fifth season with the Yankees as a coach. He served as a coach for the Tampa Yankees from 2014-2015 and with the Trenton Thunder in 2016 and 2017. Prior to joining the Yankees, he was a coach for the USA Baseball National Team development programs from 2012-2013.
From 1998-2011 he was a player, having played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Yankees organizations. In 2008 he played in 50 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the International League.
In addition to 1202 minor league games, he had played 160 games in the majors with the Colorado Rockies as a catcher. He hit .239/.320/.367 over parts of three seasons in the major leagues. In the minors, he owns a .275/.371/.437 career record. In addition to catching he has played first base, outfield, and third base throughout his career.
Last season Closser was the Bullpen Coach for the Trenton Thunder, working directly with the pitchers and catchers every day. This season he will have the opportunity to work with catchers throughout the entire organization, including Donny Sands, Jason Lopez and Gustavo Campero.