Cannizaro brought in as LSU's new hitting coach

Bill Franques
LSU's new hitting coach Andy Cannizaro. Photo by

Andy Cannizaro, a New York Yankees scout for the past five years and a former MLB infielder, has been hired as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach for the LSU baseball program.

Cannizaro replaces Javi Sanchez, who departed LSU earlier this month to pursue a business career.

Cannizaro, 35, a former All-America shortstop at Tulane who played in the big leagues for the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, has worked as a Yankees scout since 2009, evaluating and recruiting amateur players in preparation for the annual MLB Draft.

“I am pleased to welcome Andy Cannizaro into the LSU family and as a member of our coaching staff in the baseball program,” Mainieri said. “I believe Andy is a real star in the making and will have a tremendous impact on our program working alongside Alan Dunn, Will Davis, Nolan Cain and myself. His enthusiasm, intelligence, knowledge of the game, playing experience, familiarity with the area and his contacts throughout baseball make him a perfect fit for this position.

“Our players will love Andy and will be excited to work with him. Recruits will respond to his genuineness and positive attitude. Everyone knows how much respect and adoration I have for Javi Sanchez. I think the best thing I can say about Andy is he brings many of the same qualities to our program as Javi did.”

Cannizaro, a native of Mandeville was the Yankees’ official representative at the 2013 and 2014 MLB Drafts. He also worked as the advance scout for the team as it prepared for the 2011 and 2012 playoffs.

“I’ve worked with Andy for the past three years, and he is a tremendous human being,” said Jim Hendry, the former general manager of the Chicago Cubs who now works as a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. “He’s been a rising star within the Yankees organization who has earned so much respect for his talent as an instructor and talent evaluator. He has as much class and integrity as anyone you’ll meet in the game of baseball.”

Cannizaro was the Yankees’ seventh-round selection in the 2001 MLB Draft, and he played in the organization for seven seasons, reaching the Major League level in September 2006. He joined the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 and was on the club’s big-league roster for the first two months of the season.

He later played for the AAA affiliates of the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox before retiring from the game in September 2009.

During his pro career, he worked as head coach of the Louisiana Knights, a U18 fall team consisting of 12 NCAA Division I players.