Joe Cronin was a four-year starter at shortstop at Scarborough High before playing baseball at Boston College. John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Sometimes, Joe Cronin misses playing ball, such as on a warm summer day with a big crowd at the ballpark. Most of the time, though, the Scarborough native is too immersed in his new career coaching baseball to get nostalgic about playing the game.

“During the season, I missed it, but I knew I was ready for something else,” Cronin said.

Joe Cronin

On Thursday, Cronin, 27, was named development coach for the Greenville Drive, the Boston Red Sox High-A affiliate in Greenville, South Carolina.

A 2012 graduate of Scarborough High and a four-year starter at shortstop for the Red Storm, Cronin played at Boston College before he was chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 34th round of the 2016 amateur draft. Cronin advanced to Double-A before he was released in 2020.

His playing career over, Cronin searched for a job in baseball, landing an internship with the Red Sox player development department in Fort Myers, Florida, site of the team’s spring training facility. Cronin’s internship last season gave him the opportunity to dive into scouting and analytics.

That experience prepared Cronin for his new job as the Drive’s development coach. Cronin said he’ll act as a conduit between the analytics staff and the coaching staff. When the analytics crew produces a report on a player, such as breaking down a pitcher’s spin rate or the location of his pitches, Cronin will present the data to the pitcher and pitching coach Bob Kipper.


“When you’re a player, you don’t necessarily see the big picture or how it can be applied. It’s just thrown at you sometimes,” Cronin said.

Development coach is a new position throughout Boston’s minor league system in 2022. With the Portland Sea Dogs, Boston’s Double-A affiliate, that job will be filled by Katie Krall, the first woman on the Sea Dogs coaching staff.

Brian Abraham, the Red Sox director of player development, said Cronin’s background as a player and his knowledge of the game are what made him an attractive candidate for the internship and this job.

“We’ve known Joe for a couple years now,” Abraham said. “As an experienced minor leaguer, he understands what it takes to overcome struggles … I think Joe’s a really good fit for this position.”

Cronin’s goal as development coach is to spot trends before they hinder a player’s growth.

“Everything we do is to make sure progress is working in the direction we want. We know what our guys’ numbers should look like. If we see negative trends, let’s figure out why,” Cronin said.


Cronin’s job could find him in uniform in the dugout during games, or in the stands studying analytics in real time.

“In some ways, I consider it a hybrid role,” Abraham said.

Working in Greenville gives Cronin the opportunity to work alongside Drive Manager Iggy Suarez, who played shortstop for the Sea Dogs over parts of three seasons from 2007-09. As a Twins minor leaguer playing against Greenville, Cronin recognized Suarez’s name, as the former Sea Dog coached third base. “It has to be the same guy I watched play at Hadlock Field,” Cronin thought. When he had the chance, Cronin introduced himself to Suarez and the two chatted briefly about Portland.

“He’s a great guy. I’m looking forward to working with him,” Cronin said.

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