Jordan Pacheco was drafted by the Rockies in the ninth round of the 2007 draft from the University of New Mexico. He debuted September 6, 2011 and would play for the Rox for four seasons until being DFA’d in June 2014. He then spent time in Arizona and Cincinnati at the major-league level, but then signed minor-league deals with the Twins and Mariners before officially retiring in August 2021. In his six-year MLB career, Pacheco slashed .272/.310/.365 with just 10 home runs; with the Rockies, he slashed .281/.317/.379 with eight of those homers.
But that wasn’t the end of Pacheco’s baseball career. The 36-year-old former utilityman signed on to be the hitting coach of his hometown Albuquerque Isotopes before the 2022 season and is thoroughly enjoying his new role.
“I feel like I’m helping,” Pacheco chuckled. “I think that’s the main thing when you make that transition, especially when you’ve just been a player. You want to do a lot, you want to help everybody and want to make sure everybody have enough information, but you’ve also go to know like what’s too much and what’s not enough. It’s just a balancing thing – same thing when you have kids. Now I’ve just got 15 more kids!”
And, of course, it’s extra special for Pacheco to get his big break for his hometown team.
“It’s really cool,” Pacheco said. “I played at this field in high school [at La Cueva High School] and I played here in college. And now to be able to coach is cool.”
Pacheco decided during the latter part of his career that he wanted to coach, and being in different organizations helped him absorb information from a lot of different places that he can now relay to his players. And growing up in the area, on top of playing for the big-league club, certainly helps as well.
“This is definitely a different place to hit,” Pacheco said. “It’s a big field and Coors Field is a big field. I think you love coming to hit here — everybody loves coming to hit here — but I think there are certain things you can do that can give you a little bit more success here. And those are things I try to slowly help the guys with so that they can put up good numbers and then they can go to the big leagues.”
Coaching has come with its challenges, though, as does any new job. Pacheco said the biggest challenge for him right now is, “finding my process with the information that I’m given and being able to condense it and present it to the guys in a not overwhelming factor but the right amount.
“We have 15 or 16 different hitters and they all need it said to them in a different language or a different way that they understand,” he continued, “But once you get to know the guys, that becomes easier.
“So probably by the end of the year I’ll have it figured out!” he quipped.
While any job has its challenges, coaching also has many rewards. Pacheco said the most rewarding thing for him so far is, “when you’re able to talk to a guy and be in the cage with him and maybe he’s going through something — something’s not clicking and it’s not right, and you’re just sitting there trying to figure it out with him — because I was that guy trying to figure it out all the time. And then it comes to the game and it clicks and they have a good day. That’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve been a part of and it definitely makes me want to keep doing this.”