Former New York Met Kevin Baez will be staying in the Hudson Valley for at least another year as he prepares to return to manage the Rockland Boulders in the Can-Am League.
After leading the Boulders to their sixth consecutive playoff appearance with a 43-50 record during his first year at the helm, Baez announced on Thursday, Oct. 8 that he would be returning to the team for the 2020 season.
Baez, who lives on Long Island, said he is “excited to come back to Rockland, (where there are) great fans, great organization. I’m looking forward to a great 2020 season.
Before heading to the Hudson Valley, Baez, 51, managed 1,087 games with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League between 2011 and 2018, guiding the team to a 571-516 record with two league titles and six trips to the championship series, including consecutive trips from 2016 to 2018.
A seventh-round pick in the 1988 Major League Baseball draft by the Mets, Baez went on to appear in 63 games for them in three major league seasons. He continued playing minor league ball in AAA, before heading to the Ducks in 2002 to play Independent ball.
“When we hired Kevin, we knew 2019 would be a rebuilding year, but yet he still managed to lead us to the playoffs,” Boulders’ President Shawn Reilly said. “Because of the player moves Kevin made last season, I believe we are very well positioned to be successful this season in the Frontier League.”
The news of Baez’s return comes weeks after the Boulders announced they would be a part of the new 14-team “Super League” after Can-Am and the Frontier League merged to become the largest league in all of Independent professional baseball.
Joining the Boulders from the Can-Am contingent are the Quebec Capitales, New Jersey Jackals, Sussex County Miners, and Trois-Rivieres Aigles, with the Ottawa Champions suspending operations for the upcoming season.
They will participate in the 7-team Can-Am Division along with the Washington Wild Things and Lake Erie Crushers. The Midwestern Division will consist of the Evansville Otters, Florence Freedom, Gateway Grizzlies, Joliet Slammers, Schaumburg Boomers, Southern Illinois Miners and the Windy City Thunder Bolts.
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