Sunday, November 22, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Mike Harkey

The New York Yankees finalized their coaching staff this week with the official additions of Alan Cockrell as the hitting coach, Marcus Thames as the assistant hitting coach and Mike Harkey’s return to the Yankees bullpen coach position. Harkey is said to be a close friend of manager Joe Girardi’s and has spent each of the last two seasons in Arizona acting as the Diamondbacks pitching coach. Harkey was not re-signed by Arizona and was allowed to hit free agency before coming back home to the Bronx, and we officially welcome him back today.

This is Meet a Prospect: the Mike Harkey Edition.

Michael Anthony Harkey was born on October 25, 1966 and spent his college years playing for California State University (CSU) Fullerton. While playing for the CSU Fullerton Titans Harkey, as a pitcher, caught the eyes of the Chicago Cubs who drafted him in the first round of the 1987 MLB First Year Players Draft officially beginning his professional career. During Harkey’s generally uneventful playing career he made starts in a number of uniforms including playing for the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies, the Oakland Athletics, the California Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Harkey all told appeared in 131 games during the 1988, 1990 through 1995, and 1997 seasons. Shoulder and arm injuries derailed and plagued his career before he attempted a cartwheel in the Wrigley Field outfield and severely damaged his knee and essentially ended his career on September 6, 1992.

After Harkey’s injury he began his coaching career when he accepted a position with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 2000 as their pitching coach. Harkey continued his minor league coaching career as the pitching coach of the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2001 and 2003 and as the pitching coach for the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2002 and 2004 before coaching for the Mobile BayBears in 2005. Harkey coached the Iowa Cubs in 2005 before taking his first Major League position in 2006 when the Miami Marlins made him their bullpen coach.

Harkey followed manager Joe Girardi to the Yankees to be their bullpen coach in 2008 and was an instrumental part of the 2009 World Series run for the Bronx Bombers. All told Harkey was the bullpen coach for the Yankees for six seasons before jumping to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2014 season to serve as their pitching coach. Harkey was fired and returned home this season, and we welcome him back. Do what you do Hark!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)