Intimidators Jirschele steps into coaching dream

KANNAPOLIS, NC (WCCB Charlotte) –Justin Jirschele gave up a dream and stepped into another one.

Jirschele, the hitting coach for the Kannapolis Intimidators, is in the midst of his first full season as the team’s hitting coach. After five seasons in the minor leagues with the White Sox organization, he was approached by Chicago brass to gauge his interest in coaching.

“I’m a realist, I knew my chances of getting to the big league’s were slimmer than most,” Jirschele said.

Jirschele’s baseball IQ is high thanks to a lifetime around the game. His father, Mike, played 14 years in the Rangers and Royals organization and currently coaches third-base for Kansas City. Mike raised Justin and his brothers in the minor leagues as he managed 20-years in the Kansas City farm system amassing more than 1000-minor league wins.

“Hearing different things and watching with different hitting guys and different coaches that were with my Dad when I grew up, you know it just helps to have open ears always,” Justin Jirschele said. “(I’m) learning on the fly.”

While experience is not a strength, relating to the Class A players is.

“I’d like to think that they look at me as another brother as part of the team. Yet, on the other side coaching,” Jirschele said.

Entering Monday’s action, Kannapolis has 483-hits as a team–fourth most in the South Atlantic League.