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Cubs Hire Manny Ramirez As Hitting Consultant

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You wanted him back? He's back!

Dylan Heuer

Manny Ramirez was reported to have had positive effects on Cubs prospects while serving as hitting coach at Triple-A Iowa in 2014, particularly praised by Javier Baez.

Many of you wanted Manny back with the Cubs in some role, and Tuesday the team announced that he's returning with the title "Hitting Consultant." There's a limit to the number of coaches a team can have, so Manny couldn't be hired as a coach, but according to a team press release, in his new role, Ramirez will continue to work with the club’s major and minor league hitters on the fundamental and mental aspects of hitting.

This is good news and it also means that Manny appears, at last, to have given up the idea of returning to the big leagues as a player and will retire.

The team press release also announced officially the hire of Kevin Youkilis with the title "Scouting and Player Development Consultant," in which he will assist the front office by scouting amateur and professional hitters in Northern California and will work with hitters in the minor league system under the direction of the hitting coordinator.

The Cubs also announced the hire of the following people for a new Mental Skills program:

Josh Lifrak, Director, Mental Skills Program – Josh joins the Cubs after spending the last 10 years as the senior mental conditioning consultant at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. While at IMG, Josh developed and implemented mental skills training programs for hundreds of athletes spanning a multitude of sports, including baseball.

Darnell McDonald, Coordinator, Mental Skills Program – Darnell has been promoted to this role after joining the club’s front office last April as a baseball operations assistant. McDonald retired from a 16-year professional career at the end of spring training last year, a career that included all or part of seven seasons at the big league level.

Rey Fuentes, Latin Coordinator, Mental Skills Program – Rey begins his third season with the organization and first in this role following two years as cultural programs coordinator. Fuentes graduated from Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., in 2002 with a degree in Exceptional Student Education.

Dr. Ken Ravizza, Consultant, Mental Skills Program – Dr. Ravizza is a professor of Applied Sport Psychology at Cal-State Fullerton and has served as a consultant to the U.S. Olympics team for more than 20 years, as well as many professional organizations, including the Tampa Bay Rays (under manager Joe Maddon), the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs also announced the following promotions and additions in amateur scouting:

Tim Adkins, named Midwest/Northeast Crosschecker. For Adkins, this is a promotion from area scout.

Trey Forkerway, named Central Crosschecker. For Forkerway, this is a promotion from area scout.

Daniel Carte, hired as an Area Scout, Ohio Valley. Carte joins the Cubs from West Virginia University, where he served as an assistant coach.

Kevin Ellis, hired as an Area Scout, South Texas/Louisiana. Ellis joins the Cubs from the San Diego Padres, where he was an area scout.

Greg Hopkins, hired as an Area Scout, Northwest. Hopkins most recently scouted the northwest for the Pittsburgh Pirates through the 2013 campaign.

Alex Levitt, hired as an Area Scout, Deep South. Levitt joins the Cubs from Vanderbilt University, where he served as baseball operations director in addition to recruiting and advanced scouting duties.

Finally, the team announced the following promotion and addition in professional scouting:

Terry Kennedy, Major League Scout. For Kennedy, this is a promotion from professional scout.

Jason Parks, Professional/Amateur Scout. Parks joined the Cubs last year after spending the better part of the previous four years at Baseball Prospectus as the head prospect writer for the site.