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Jean Afterman enters her 18th season as the Yankees' Assistant General Manager and eighth as Senior Vice President in 2019. She became only the third female to hold the position of Assistant General Manager in Major League Baseball history, and is currently the only woman to hold the title.
Ms. Afterman has been an integral part of the Yankees' efforts and operations in Asia. In her first year with the Yankees, she was instrumental in developing the club's relationship with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League and signing three-time MVP Hideki Matsui. In 2007, she joined team President Randy Levine and General Manager Brian Cashman on a week-long trip to Asia that concluded with a working agreement with the Chinese Baseball Association. She once again joined Levine and Cashman in 2010, when the Yankees brought the 2009 World Series trophy to Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Ms. Afterman was given the honor of throwing out one of the ceremonial first pitches at the 2010 Phoenix Cup, an annual international women's baseball tournament.
Her contributions and leadership have been repeatedly recognized. In 2010, Ms. Afterman was named by WISE (Women in Sports and Events) as one of the "Women of the Year," and was tabbed by New York Moves magazine as a "Power Woman." Ms. Afterman was named one of the 2004 "Power 100" by the Sporting News, and was selected as one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in New York" by the New York Post in 2003 and 2007. Also in 2007, Ms. Afterman was profiled as one of Crain's New York Business' "100 Most Influential Women in New York Business." In 2008, she was profiled by Forbes as one of the top female executives in Baseball, and in 2013, she was once again profiled on the front page of her hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2017, she was named one of Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal's "Game Changers," and was profiled by both the YES Network and ESPN.com. She is a frequent guest speaker on the topics of women in sports and the business of baseball, having participated in events sponsored by Major League Baseball, Columbia Business School, New York University, SABR, Beyond Sport, the Sports Lawyers Association and WISE, among others. In 2018 and 2019, Ms. Afterman was a member of the Steering Committee for the Integrity and Impact Award presented at the BT Sport Industry Awards in London.
Ms. Afterman joined the Yankees with a diverse business and legal background, focusing on international sports and licensing with an emphasis on U.S.-Japan matters. Prior to joining the Yankees, she managed her own practice, providing athletic representation and management with a specialization in arbitration proceedings. From 1994-99, Ms. Afterman was General Counsel at KDN Sports, Inc., and handled business and legal affairs for international baseball clients, including Hideo Nomo, Hideki Irabu, Masato Yoshii, Alfonso Soriano and more than 30 Major and Minor League players. In 1996, Ms. Afterman was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to a federal advisory committee, the National Organic Standards Board.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in 1979, Ms. Afterman was the recipient of the Rosalynn Schneider Eisner Prize and the Mark Goodson Scholarship Grant. She received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1991. In 2009, she was named "Alumni of the Year" by the Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco.
Ms. Afterman maintains an active role in the Bronx community, working closely with P.S. 35, an elementary school within walking distance from Yankee Stadium. Over the last 11 years, she has organized Yankees-sponsored Read-A-Thons and directed a mentoring program which matches Yankees employees with fourth and fifth grade students. Additionally, she has worked with high school-aged students through New York City's Explorers program, which engages young people through career-orientation programs. She received the 2009 "Exploring Leadership Award" for her work with the group. In 2012 and 2013, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Women's Sports Foundation, and in 2015, she was appointed to serve on the advisory committee that oversees the Commissioner's Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program. In 2018, Ms. Afterman joined the Board of Directors of DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI).
Ehsan Bokhari joined the Houston Astros as Director of Research and Development in November 2018. Ehsan oversees all projects coming out of R&D, ensuring their quality and making certain that all baseball operations' consumer needs are met. Ehsan previously spent four seasons (2015-2018) with the Los Angeles Dodgers' R&D team as a Senior Analyst---he was one of the original members of the Dodgers' R&D staff. Prior to joining the Dodgers, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois for the 2014-2015 academic year. Also at the University of Illinois, in 2014 Ehsan completed a PhD in quantitative psychology and in 2011, an MS in statistics. Ehsan did his undergraduate degrees in psychology and mathematics at the University of Arizona, graduating in 2009.
Rene Francisco is in his 13th season with the Royals and fifth as the club's Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Major League and International Operations. He was named Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Operations on Aug. 13, 2006 and promoted to Assistant GM/International Operations on Nov. 2, 2012. He was named to his current role on Jan. 5, 2015.
Francisco joined the Royals after working for the Atlanta Braves as Director of International Scouting in 2005. He returned to Atlanta after spending three years with the Los Angeles Dodgers as the Director of International Scouting. He initially joined the Braves in 1993 as an international scout, a position he held for three seasons before he was promoted to an Area Coordinator (Florida) during the 1998 season. He was the team's International Coordinator for Latin America from 2000-02.
Francisco attended and played baseball at Indian River State College and Jacksonville University before being drafted in the 38th round by the Chicago Cubs in 1989. The outfielder played two seasons in the minors before joining Palm Beach Community College as a coach.
He and his wife, Claudia, reside in Wellington, Fla. Their son, Diego, was selected by the Royals in the 40th round of the 2014 Draft.
Paul Gillispie begins his 13th season with the Indians organization and third since being promoted to Senior Director of International Scouting in December of 2016. In his present role, Gillispie oversees all aspects of International Scouting, including both Latin America and the Pacific Rim, while leading the evaluation, information-gathering and process implementation efforts for the acquisition of international, amateur and professional players. Gillispie spent the previous two years as the club's Director of Pro Scouting after serving for six years as Assistant Director of Scouting from 2009-14. Paul's tenure with the Indians started in November 2006 when he began an internship in Baseball Operations and he later went on to become an Area Scout for Georgia, South Carolina and Northern Florida. Paul graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in American Politics. He played for the Cavaliers baseball team and was team captain for the 2003-04 season. He is a member of the Buck O'Neil Professional Scouts and Coaches Association. Originally from Danville, VA, Paul resides in downtown Cleveland.
James Harris begins his third season with the Indians after joining the organization as Director of Player Development in December of 2016. In his current role, Harris oversees all aspects of the Indians farm system, including the organization's six minor league affiliates and Dominican Summer League team. Harris leads the continued improvement and implementation of Player Development philosophies, programs and systems, while directing staffing and personnel decisions for the department. It is the goal of the Indians Player Development System to fully develop the whole athlete, while providing each player and staff member with practical development tools and resources. Prior to joining the Indians, James was a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations with the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent time as Chief of Staff for the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Oregon. During his 21-year career in sports, he has also spent time with the University of Nebraska, Arizona State University, San Francisco 49ers and Athletes' Performance (EXOS). James graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2000 with a degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences, has a master's degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Nebraska, is a Registered Dietitian (RD), and studied Leadership at the University of Oregon. A Los Angeles area native, James and his wife, Kimberly, have two daughters, Kamryn and Keliah.
Moisés Rodriguez was named the team's Assistant General Manager on September 27, 2017. Rodriguez has been a part of the organization for 11 seasons as the Director of International Operations. In his role as Assistant General Manager, Rodriguez will assist both the President of Baseball Operations and VP & General Manager with Major League player transactions, contract negotiations and player evaluations, and will help oversee all aspects of Baseball Operations including amateur and pro scouting, player development, international operations and baseball development.
Before becoming Assistant GM, Rodriguez directed the team's amateur scouting effort overseas, and supervised the player development and facility operations at the Cardinals Dominican Republic Academy. During his tenure, the international scouting department identified Cardinal pitchers Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes as well as the late Oscar Taveras. Under his supervision, the Cardinals moved into a newly built player development academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic in 2015.
Prior to joining the Cardinals, Rodriguez worked for Major League Baseball in New York from 1998-2007, the last three-plus years as Manager of International Baseball Operations in the Commissioner's Office. During his tenure in the Commissioner's Office, he also specialized in the day-to-day handling of the waiver wire and rule enforcement related to clubs' Major and Minor League player movement transactions. His first position at MLB in 1998 was as an assistant in Media Relations and waivers for the National League office. He began his work in sports as an Assistant Director of Sports Information at the University of Connecticut.
Rodriguez, 45, was born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, before moving to New York City. He received a communications degree from the University of Connecticut. He and his wife, Michelle, have two sons: Moisés Angel (10) and Christian (6).
Victor Wang enters his 11th season with the Indians and third as Director of Pro Scouting. In his current role, Victor oversees all phases of the organization's professional scouting efforts, manages the Professional Scouting Staff, provides player evaluations, and fulfills a variety of other responsibilities within the Baseball Operations Department. Wang most recently was the Assistant Director of Pro Scouting from 2013-16. He joined the Cleveland organization in a full-time capacity in June 2012 as a Baseball Operations Assistant after spending the previous three summers as a Baseball Operations & Analytics Intern. Prior to joining the Indians, Victor wrote for the Hardball Times. Victor grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and later graduated from Northwestern University in June 2012 with a BA in Economics. He currently resides in downtown Cleveland.
Named executive director, player development of the Mets in December 2018 and will oversee the organization's minor league system.
Was the Red Sox vice president, player personnel from 2017-2018 where he oversaw scouting of professional players in international leagues in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico and others.
Served as Boston's director, player personnel in 2016 and also worked as assistant director, player personnel (2013-2015), coordinator, amateur scouting (2010-2012) and assistant, player development (2008-2009).
First joined the Red Sox in 2007 as a fellow in the baseball operations department.
Played four years of varsity baseball as an outfielder at Amherst College and served as the team captain in 2007. Banner is a native of Brooklyn, NY.
Catherine Cage first joined the Astros in January 2017 as an analyst with Research and Development. She was tasked with building predictive models and deriving new metrics to support Baseball Operations. Through research and analysis, she developed tools to assist with player evaluation and game tactics. In November 2018, Catherine was named Manager of Research for Research and Development. In this position, she oversees the implementation of new research and maintains the integrity of the data and models.
Prior to joining the Astros, Catherine was a Statistical Analyst with BioStat Solutions Inc., a statistical consulting company for clients in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and biodefense industries. Catherine spent the 2016 season with the Washington Nationals as a Research and Development intern. The internship provided an opportunity to work with baseball data and process the team's databases.
Catherine graduated from Texas Tech University in 2013 with a Bachelor's in Mathematics. She went on to receive her Masters in Statistics from the University of Florida in 2015.
Sarah Gelles joined the Houston Astros in November 2018 as Program Manager, Research & Development, a role in which she assists in managing and coordinating a growing Astros R&D team that is central to the club's data-driven success. Prior to that, she served for three years as the Director of Analytics & Major League Contracts for the Baltimore Orioles. In that role, she oversaw the club's Analytics department, led development of internal baseball operations systems, handled Major League roster management and rules compliance, and assisted the General Manager with player acquisitions, negotiations and other aspects of baseball operations.
Gelles, 31, began her career with the Orioles as a Baseball Operations intern in 2011 and was appointed Coordinator of Baseball Analytics in 2012. During that time, she built out the club's internal database infrastructure and oversaw an expansion of the use of data and analytics across Baseball Operations. She was promoted to Director of Baseball Analytics in 2014. Before arriving at the Orioles, Gelles worked for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department. A 2010 summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, Gelles now resides in Houston with her husband Jonathan.
The 2019 season marks Kevan's 11th year as a member of the Pirates Baseball Operations department. He is in his fourth season as Assistant General Manager after serving as the Director of Baseball Operations the previous four years. Graves joined the Pittsburgh organization as a Baseball Operations Assistant on October 31, 2008.
In his current role, Kevan supports General Manager Neal Huntington on roster management, player evaluation and acquisitions, free agent and arbitration contract negotiations, MLB rules compliance, payroll and budget management financial planning, staff recruitment and development of entry-level staff and the day-to-day oversight of the Baseball Operations department.
Prior to joining the Pittsburgh organization, Graves was a member of the inaugural class of the Executive Development Program in the MLB Commissioner's Office, where he worked primarily with the Labor Relations and Baseball Operations Departments on contract analysis and various special projects. As part of the program, he also spent a year with the Minnesota Twins where he split time between the Baseball Operations and Business Development Departments. Additionally, Graves previously worked for the San Francisco Giants Legal Department for two years as well as MLB's Arizona Fall League for one season. He also served as an intern with the San Diego Padres Baseball Operations department.
PERSONAL: Kevan was born on 12/11/80 in Berkeley, CA, and currently resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Keri, son Braden (4), and daughter Shea (born March 2019). He is a 2003 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he was a member of the Varsity Baseball team and majored in History.
Michael Hill begins his sixth season as the Marlins' President of Baseball Operations, and his 17th season with the organization. Mr. Hill was promoted to his current position on September 29, 2013. Mr. Hill previously served as the Marlins' General Manager for six full seasons; he was promoted to that position on Sept. 29, 2007, after serving as VP and Assistant General Manager. Mr. Hill is currently the only African-American (fifth in MLB history), and one of two Hispanics, that presides over baseball operations for a Major League club.
Under the guidance of Mr. Hill, the Miami Marlins continue their plan to build a club that can achieve sustainable success. Since December of 2017, the Marlins have acquired or drafted nine of the club's top 10 prospects according to Baseball America. The list is headlined by Cuban outfielder Víctor Víctor Mesa, who was the top-ranked International prospect in the 2018-19 class by Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and Fangraphs. In 2014, Mr. Hill's first season as President of Baseball Operations, Miami made a 15-win improvement and became one of only three teams in MLB history to win 77-or-more games following a 100-loss season.
Mr. Hill has 24 seasons of experience in various front office capacities following his retirement as a Minor League player. Mr. Hill spent three seasons with the Colorado Rockies, serving as the Club's Director of Player Development. Mr. Hill joined Colorado in 1999 after five years (1995-99) with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In Tampa Bay, Mr. Hill worked as an assistant in the scouting and player development departments.
Mr. Hill was a 31st-round draft pick by the Texas Rangers in the June 1993 Draft. Mr. Hill played two seasons (1993-94) in the Rangers' system and one year (1995) in the Reds' organization before joining the Devil Rays' front office.
A 1993 graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Hill was elected senior class marshal (the equivalent of class president) while starring as the Crimson football team's top rusher and the baseball team's captain. Mr. Hill was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he played football, baseball and basketball at the city's Country Day School.
Mr. Hill is quite active in the South Florida community, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Miami, and serving as a mentor for the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project.
In February 2016, the Hill Family Scholarship was launched as part of Mr. Hill's commitment to philanthropy and education in South Florida. The scholarship is inspired by the core values of Mr. Hill's family and looking to support a deserving student in the pursuit of a college career.
In addition, Mr. Hill has completed multiple marathons and half marathons. Mr. Hill ran the Miami Marathon in 2008, the Boston Marathon in 2009, the New York City Marathon in 2010 and Disney's Goofy Challenge (full and half marathon on back-to-back days) in January 2012. Mr. Hill also completed the Disney Dopey Challenge in January 2017 (5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon on consecutive days) and, most recently, completed the World Marathon Challenge in 2018, running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
Jin Wong is in his 20th season in the Royals' organization and fifth as Assistant General Manager/Baseball Administration after being promoted on Jan. 5, 2015. He joined the Royals as Scouting Operations Coordinator in 2000, was promoted to Manager of Scouting Operations in 2001, Manager of Baseball Operations in 2002, Director of Baseball Operations in 2004 and Director of Baseball Administration in 2006.
Wong assists General Manager Dayton Moore in strategic planning as it relates to contract negotiations, salary arbitration matters and roster management. His responsibilities also include the interpretation and application of the Basic Agreement and Major League rules, budgetary procedure for Baseball Operations and oversight of the club's video coordination for the Major League team.
He came to Kansas City from Richmond, Va., former Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, where he was the Group Sales Manager. Prior to joining Richmond, he worked for Atlanta as a Baseball Operations Trainee in 1997.
Wong received a Bachelor's of Science degree in business administration from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., in 1997. While at Mary Washington, he was a Division III All-American in baseball in 1996. He resides in Overland Park, Kan., with his wife, Libby and sons, Kai and Tate.
Farhan Zaidi enters his first season as the President of Baseball Operations for the Giants. He spent the last four years as the Los Angeles Dodgers' General Manager after joining the club in November 2014. Under Zaidi's leadership, the Dodgers won four consecutive division titles while advancing to the National League Championship Series the last three years, and the World Series the last two seasons. During that four-year span, the Dodgers posted the second-best winning percentage in all of baseball (.584, 379-270).
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Zaidi spent 10 seasons with the Oakland A's, where he started as a baseball operations analyst in 2005 before being promoted to director of baseball operations in 2009 and assistant general manager/director of baseball operations in 2014. With the Athletics, Zaidi's primary responsibilities included providing statistical analysis for evaluating and targeting players in the amateur draft, free agent and trade markets. He also assisted on arbitration cases and contract negotiations, and worked closely with the coaching staff during the season in analyzing data from advance scouting reports.
Before entering baseball, Zaidi served as business development associate for Small World Media, the fantasy sports division of The Sporting News, and also worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. Zaidi earned his bachelor of science degree in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 and a Ph.D in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011.