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Monday, March 29, 2021

Jeff Livesey won HS praise, saw minors, coached in majors

Jeff Livesey 1990 Fort Lauderdale Yankees card

Jeff Livesey's high school coach had nothing but praise for the catcher as he prepared to head off to Auburn, according to The Passaic Herald-News.

After all, Livesey had been a three-time first team all-area selection and even been a member of the National Honor Society, The Herald-News wrote.

"He possesses a tremendously strong and accurate arm," his head coach at New Jersey's Lakeland High Dick Shutte told The Herald-News of Livesey. "He's very good at handling pitchers because he has an outstanding knowledge of the game."

Livesey took that knowledge on to Auburn and to the pros. He couldn't take it in his pro playing career to the majors. But he did ultimately take it to the bigs later, as a coach in Pittsburgh for the Pirates.

Livesey's pro playing career began in 1988, taken by the Yankees in the 13th round of the draft out of Auburn.

Livesey started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta and single-A Fort Lauderdale. He hit .219 over 46 games. 

He briefly made AA Albany-Colonie in 1991 and saw the AA level each year through 1994. He also briefly saw AAA Columbus for three games in 1992, then 34 in 1993. 

In August 1994, he spoke with The Tampa Tribune about his baseball family that included his bother, former minor leaguer and coach Steve Livesey, and father, Yankees VP of player development Steve Livesey. After an injury, he also contemplated his life after playing.

"I don't want to be finished playing," Jeff Livesey told The Tribune. "Either way, I can see my future in this organization. I can't see myself leaving the game after I stop playing."

Livesey got back on the field for one more season, 42 games at Columbus in 1995, to end his playing days.

He then started coaching, but in a different organization, the Expos, at AA Harrisburg. By 1998, he had arrived with the Pirates, as manager at high-A Lynchburg.

For 2006, he moved to Japan, as coach with Hiroshima, then for Tohoku. He returned stateside as a coordinator for the Pirates in 2011. In 2014, he joined the major league coaching staff as assistant hitting coach.

The Marlins hired him as assistant hitting coach, then interim hitting coach for 2019. As he took over as hitting coach that April, Livesey explained to what he wanted his hitters to do.

“We want to get to the point, we hunt our pitches," Livesey told "Good hitters hunt what they want to hit. When they get it, they take aggressive swings. That’s what we want to work towards."

Jeff Livesey 1990 Fort Lauderdale Yankees card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,610
Made the Majors:1,247-34.5%
Never Made Majors:2,363-65.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:520
10+ Seasons in the Minors:306

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