Albuquerque's Jordan Pacheco coming home as Isotopes hitting coach - Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque’s Jordan Pacheco coming home as Isotopes hitting coach

Jordan Pacheco
Former Colorado Rockies utility man Jordan Pacheco, the La Cueva High and University of New Mexico graduate, is returning to Albuquerque as the hitting coach of the Isotopes. (Courtesy Colorado Rockies)

Jordan Pacheco is coming home.

After hanging up the cleats on a 14-year professional baseball career, Pacheco on Friday was announced as the new hitting coach of the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, reuniting him with Colorado Rockies organization that drafted him in 2007 after a standout career at the University of New Mexico. 

It also brings the 35-year-old Pacheco back to Albuquerque, where he was a standout at La Cueva High School before going on to become one of the most prolific players in Lobo history. 

Pacheco and the Isotopes held a formal introductory press conference on Friday afternoon at Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park. 

With the Isotopes, not only will Pacheco be linking up once again with the Rockies organization he was affiliated with for just over seven of his 14 professional seasons, but also with close friend and fellow 2007 Rockies draftee Warren Schaeffer, the Isotopes manager. 

“We were drafted in ’07 with the Rockies together, came up in the minor leagues together,” Schaeffer told the Journal in a June interview about his close relationship with Pacheco. 

“He’s a great guy.”

He can hit a little, too. 

Pacheco hit .384 with 25 home runs, 145 RBIs, 59 doubles and eight triples with the Lobos over three seasons from 2005-07. He was the 2007 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year ahead of his being drafted in the 9th round by the Rockies that summer. 

He played this past season with the Lexington Legends of the Atlantic (independent) League in Kentucky. He hit .370 in 39 games for the Legends.

In his six MLB seasons with the Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds, he hit .272 over 377 games while playing primarily first base (119 games), third base (97) and catcher (59). 

And now that he and Schaeffer are together again in Albuquerque, Pacheco can share with his good friend advice on all the Albuquerque hot spots. And fortunately for Pacheco, Schaeffer, as the hot, up-and-coming star in the Rockies organization on the coaching side of the organization, won’t need to borrow a car anymore to go see them all. 

“We were playing Triple-A together (in Colorado Springs in either 2010 or 2011) and he went somewhere during the all-star break and he lent me his brand new blue (Ford) Explorer,” Schaeffer told the Journal in June. “I said, ‘I’ll take care of this, man. I promise.’ It was for like, two or three days to let me get around Colorado Springs. 

“I went to the mall and parked it away from every other car. I came out and there were five cop cars around and somebody crashed right into the side of it and totaled it. I couldn’t believe it.”

Though he never coached Pacheco at UNM, recently retired Lobo baseball coach Ray Birmingham, who was hired in 2008, the year after Pacheco was drafted, has always spoke highly of the New Mexico native and what he meant to the sport in Albuquerque and across the state of New Mexico. 

When asked about Schaeffer over the summer, Birmingham told the Journal that knowing of the Isotopes manager’s relationship with Pacheco was all he needed to know.

“Well, his best friend is Jordan Pacheco,” Birmingham said. “Jordan Pacheco’s a hard-nosed fighter, man. He’ll get after you. He wants to win. And the bottom line is winning.”

 

 

 

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