Exactly a decade after starting his coaching career with the mission of one day reaching Major League Baseball, Hawaii’s Keoni DeRenne is headed to “The Show”.
The Kansas City Royals announced recently that he has been promoted to assistant hitting coach for the 2015 World Series champions.
“I kind of thought about when’s it really going to hit me. Well, it’s hit me three weeks ago, four weeks ago, but I think the momentum is still building which I think is really great. I think I will never take it for granted. To be able to work in baseball and do something that I love and have a passion for is just an honor,” DeRenne told KHON2 Sports Reporter Alan Hoshida.
DeRenne spent the past two years as the assistant hitting coordinator with the organization and he helped revamp the club’s hitting development program in the minors leagues.
Prior to joining the Royals organization, DeRenne spent a season as the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A hitting coach following seven seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a hitting coach and manager.
His playing career included eight seasons in the minors in five different organizations.
According to the Iolani graduate and former Arizona baseball standout, there is little doubt who helped provide the inspiration to chase his lofty career ambitions.
“My Mom, my Dad, and my sister have been the backbone of me for the time I was a little punk kid growing up until a kind of not as much of a punk adult now, or rascal kid I guess you could say, so I’m just very, very, they’ve sacrificed a lot for me and I’m just very , I’m blessed to have them in my corner on top of a lot of tremendous people. Coaches, mentors, friends. Who have been along with me on this journey who have never doubted my ability. Who have always pushed me to be the best and thrive to be the best and to have that kind of support is very humbling,” said DeRenne.
In 2022 DeRenne will join three other Hawaii born coaches at the Major League level. Last season, the three were Kai Correa – bench coach for the Giants, Mike Fetters – bullpen coach for the Diamondbacks, and Brendan Sagara – co-pitching coach for the Texas Rangers.