August 6, 1955 |
Pennington Gap, Virginia
|May 27, 1984, for the Houston Astros|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 19, 1990, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||55|
James Franklin Pankovits (born August 6, 1955 in Pennington Gap, Virginia) is an American professional baseball coach, a former Major League Baseball infielder, and former minor league manager. In MLB, he appeared in 318 games played, 316 of them with the Houston Astros. As of 2014, he is a roving minor league infield instructor for the Seattle Mariners.
The 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 170 lb (77 kg) Pankovits was selected by the Astros in the fourth round of the 1976 Major League Baseball Draft from the University of South Carolina. During his six-year Major League career (1984–88; 1990), Pankovits was used primarily as a pinch hitter and occasional second baseman. In one instance, he even caught an inning of a 1986 game . In his career, he hit .250 with nine home runs and 55 RBI. His best season came in 1986 as a member of the National League West Division champion Astros, when he hit .283 in 70 games as the primary back up to Bill Doran.
Late in his playing career, Pankovits appeared in two games for the Boston Red Sox in September 1990 as defensive replacement—without logging a plate appearance—then began his managing career in the Red Sox' farm system in 1992. He returned to the Astro organization in 1995, serving through 2010 as a minor league manager at the Class A, Short Season-A and Double-A levels, and as a roving infield instructor. He then joined the Mariners' system in 2011 as manager of the Double-A Jackson, Tennessee, Generals of the Southern League. Coincidentally, he had managed a different franchise with the same name—the Jackson, Mississippi, Generals of the Double-A Texas League—in 1998–99 when it was an Astro affiliate.
Youth and college baseball
Pankovits played in 1968 Little League World Series for the Tuckahoe Little League team from Richmond, Virginia, that was U.S. national champions and the LLWS runner-up. He also was a member of runner-up South Carolina Gamecocks during the 1975 College World Series
In 2007, the Astros introduced a player analysis formula in his honor. The brain child of then-general manager Tim Purpura, PANKOVITS is an acronym for Player Analysis with Neutral Knowledge of Offensively Vital Information Tracking Statistics. It is credited in some circles with predicting the success of Hunter Pence and the failure of Woody Williams during the 2007 season.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
- 2001 interview with Jim Pankovits 
|New Britain Red Sox manager
Team renamed Hardware City Rock Cats
|Jackson Generals (Texas League) manager
Team named West Tenn Diamond Jaxx
|Jackson Generals (Southern League) manager