MILWAUKEE -- After blazing a trail for the Brewers, Sara Goodrum is leaving the organization to become one of the highest-ranking female executives in baseball as director of player development for the Houston Astros.
Neither team has announced the move, but it was communicated internally to Brewers staffers this week and two sources confirmed Houston’s hire. A source told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that the club has made her an offer. It’s not the first time Goodrum has made news for a promotion; she was 27 in January when the Brewers elevated her from their sports science department to roving Minor League hitting coordinator, a promotion believed to make her the first woman in baseball history to fill that job.
Goodrum, who played Division I softball at the University of Oregon before getting a master’s degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Utah, had an extensive portfolio in her most recent job with the Brewers. She oversaw the hitting program throughout the organization, managed hitting coaches at the team’s affiliates and traveled around the system to assist in player instruction, including a stint with the big league club in Milwaukee at the end of the regular season.
"We weren't guessing when we gave her that title,” former Brewers Major League hitting coach Andy Haines said. “It wasn't a token title by any means. Sara's really good. She's talented. She has a great way about her and a lot to offer."
Goodrum is prominent among the women who are breaking baseball’s glass ceiling. As a coach she joined Alyssa Nakken, an assistant coach on the Giants’ Major League staff; Rachel Folden, a hitting coach for the Cubs’ Arizona League affiliate; Rachel Balkovec, the hitting coach for the Yankees’ Gulf Coast League affiliate; and Bianca Smith, who honed her hitting chops at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., before being hired as a hitting coach in the Red Sox’s Minor League system.
Women also have been breaking barriers in baseball’s front offices, most notably with Kim Ng’s ascension to general manager in Miami in November 2020. Two weeks later, the Orioles hired Eve Rosenbaum to the newly created role of director of baseball development to coordinate between Baltimore’s scouting, player development and analytics departments.
“The most eye-opening thing for me is that especially with the players who are coming up now, they don’t care if you’re a man or a woman,” Goodrum said in January after her Brewers promotion. “If you can provide them guidance that is going to help them accomplish their dream of making it to the big leagues, they don’t care.
“For me, it’s always been about showing first and foremost that I care about them. I’m going to continue to do that as I go into the role of being a little more on the front face with our players. Showing them, ‘I want to help you guys in your career, and I’ll be able to provide that information.’ Our hitting coaches are phenomenal, as well. I don’t think the players mind what your gender is. It’s about the information.”