Head coachJohn Yurkow has been steering Penn men's baseball since 2014 and has found a fair amount of success, particularly within the Ivy League. However, he is not without the help of his three trusty assistant coaches that work behind the scenes to make sure the Quakers are ready come game day. The Daily Pennsylvanian takes a look at Penn baseball's assistant coaches:
Mike Santello – Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
This year marks Santello’s tenth season as an assistant coach with the Quakers. At Penn, he has overseen several high-octane offenses. In 2019, the Quakers were found in the top five of many statistical categories at the national level, finishing the season with the second-highest batting average out of all Division I teams. This success was attributed to the Quakers’ heightened plate discipline and increased reps in the batting cage, both of which Santello oversaw.
Santello’s work with the Quakers is not limited to the offensive side, however, as he has also had stints focused on working with Penn’s defense. In 2017, he worked with the catchers, helping starter Matt O’Neill earn All-Ivy Honorable Mention honors.
Prior to his time with Penn, Santello served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with his alma mater, Eastern University, where he was a three-time captain as a player.
Joe Brooks – First Base, Hitters, and Outfielders Coach
After joining the Quakers merely months before the start of the 2020 season, Brooks entered 2020 ready to make an impact as Penn’s first base coach. Brooks works with the team’s hitters and outfielders yet was unable to see much of his work come to fruition due to the shortened 2020 season.
Though he wasn’t able to see the full benefit of his offseason work, Brooks saw signs of encouragement from a 2020 Quakers squad that led the Ivy League in batting average and from an outfield that had a perfect fielding percentage.
Josh Schwartz – Pitching Coach
Schwartz, who served as the pitching coach at Gloucester County College prior to coming to Penn, had a successful playing career before he entered the coaching ranks. The three-time Division III All-American pitcher translated his successful career at Rowan University into a brief minor league career after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
As Penn’s pitching coach, Schwartz has carried over his prior success. Schwartz has produced many All-Ivy honorees, as well as several MLB draft picks. The loss of these players to the draft has created a challenge in some years for Schwartz, as he has had to rebuild the team’s bullpen. However, with the help of a strong starting rotation, including former Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, Christian Scafidi, Schwartz succeeded in helping the Quakers’ pitching not miss a beat. Prior to COVID-19’s cancellation of the 2020 spring sports season, Schwartz had helped the Quakers total the Ivy League’s lowest ERA.
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