Mitch Lukevics

From BR Bullpen

Mitchell Stephen Lukevits

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Mitch Lukevics has been a minor league farm director.

Mitch Lukevics has been the Tampa Bay Rays' Director of Minor League Operations since 2006, overseeing every aspect of the Rays farm system, including the 2015 Florida State League Champion Charlotte Stone Crabs. Lukevics was honored with the Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award in 2012, which is presented to someone with distinguished service who has been instrumental in player development.

Lukevics has now spent over 40 years in professional baseball as a pitcher, coach and Minor League administrator. He was first drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 14th round of the 1971 amateur draft out of high school, but chose to go to college at Penn State University. He pitched for Team USA in the 1973 Intercontinental Cup, winning Bronze. He was drafted again by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 1975 amateur draft. He played in the minor leagues from 1975 to 1980, reaching the Triple-A Level in his first season as a pro, when he made 4 starts for the Denver Bears of the American Association at the end of the year. He had started 1975 red hot, going 4-1, 1.26 in 8 games for the GCL White Sox, prompting the team to rush him upwards. In 1976, he was back in Class A with the Appleton Foxes where he went 10-5, 3.00. In 1977, he went 7-7, 2.75 for the Knoxville Sox and followed that by going 6-0, 2.73 over the first 12 games of the 1978 season, to earn a return assignment to AAA this time with the Iowa Oaks. His ERA had been 9.00 in his first stint at Denver three years earlier, and this time it was 9.95 in 12 games. He finally managed to get some batters out at the AAA level in 1979, when he went 8-6, 5.03 in 18 games with Iowa, after starting the year with Knoxville. Altogether, he went 12-9 that year, the most wins he would record in a season. However, things went badly downhill in 1980, when he was 2-10, 6.02 for Iowa. He was banished to the bullpen after having been a starter all of his career, then was released at the end of the year. He retired as a player after that.

After working as the New York Yankees Farm Director for six years, Lukevics joined the Rays organization as a pitching coach in 1996. His efforts in player development helped Tampa Bay reach its first World Series in 2008.

Source: FSL Hall of Fame

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