Hensley Meulens was unable to make a significant impact with the Yankees as a player, but maybe he can lead them to 28th World Series championship as their manager.
"Bam Bam" Meulens often destroyed minor league baseballs as a young 20-something outfielder in the late 80s and early 90s in the Yankees organization, hitting 129 home runs across seven seasons in the organization's system. The nickname carried over to the major leagues, but the home run prowess never did, as Meulens hit 12 home runs in 159 career games as a Yankee. He had success in three seasons in Japan, and then continued to latch on in various locations within MLB (and minor leagues), Mexico, the KBO, and in the Independent Atlantic League before retiring after the 2002 season.
Meulens began coaching right after his retirement, spending two seasons as a hitting coach in the Appalachian League. He, then, spent four years as a hitting coach at the Triple-A level before landing the same role with the San Francisco Giants beginning with the 2010 season.
He maintained the hitting coach role with the Giants through 2017, and was named Bruce Bochy's bench coach for the 2018 season -- assuming he doesn't land the Yankees gig.
Meulens' employment in the Giants organization since 2010, under one of the most respected managers in the game in Bochy, is certainly a quality that some of his competitors will not be able to tout and provides some credence to Meulens' candidacy. The promotion to the bench coach says a good deal about how the Giants and Bochy feel about Meulens' progression as a coach.
Meulens has managerial experience having led the last two incarnations of the Netherlands squad in the World Baseball Classic, which he took to the 2013 and 2017 semifinals. In the WBC, Meulens has managed Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius as well as other MLB stars such as Xander Bogaerts, Kenley Jansen, Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop and Andrelton Simmons. This type of managerial experience is certainly better than none, and considering there is very little time to get players to gel, success in the WBC provides some evidence that Meulens gets through to his players.
Cashman's desire to hire a manager that has the ability to communicate with players and various departments in the organization seemingly would be satisfied by Meulens. Again, simply looking at the Giants: if they did not value Meulens' abilities, he would not have survived as long as he has let alone secure a seat next to Bochy after the club suffered through one of its worst seasons in years.
Staying on the communication front, Meulens, like others from Curaçao, is multilingual. He speaks five languages with Spanish and Japanese among them. This is a sure-fire advantage for Meulens in the clubhouse and dugout as the Yankees have several Spanish-speaking players, and pitcher star Masahiro Tanaka hails from Japan.
Cashman has noted that the individual eventually named the Yankees manager will not check off all the boxes, but it does seem that Meulens owns various characteristics New York is looking for in their next skipper.