Nearly two months into his first season at the Major League level, Hawaii’s Keoni DeRenne has already made significant strides on to the field.

This past weekend, the Kansas City Royals assistant hitting coach was move to third base coach as Vance Wilson was away from the club to attend his daughter’s graduation.

DeRenne, who held that role in at the AAA level while with the Cubs organization in 2018, directed traffic in series against the Twins and Diamondbacks. The experience was one that DeRenne was humbled to have and grateful to be trusted with.

“It was incredible. First, I’m so thankful to manager Mike Matheny for trusting in me and I’d say after the first couple of innings of feeling the pace of the game and everything that comes with it, I felt comfortable and man, what an experience. Who knows? Maybe I do it again, maybe I won’t but I felt proud to be out there and step up for the team,” DeRenne told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.

Through 42 games of his first season at the MLB level, the Royals who are one of the youngest teams in the league, behind blossoming talents like Bobby Witt Jr, Whit Merrifield, and MJ Melendez are both going through growing pains and striving. Kansas City currently leads the major leagues in triples with 10 and their 105 extra base hits puts them in the top 10. According to DeRenne as a rookie himself, he’s proud to be going though the experience with guys that he spent the last year and a half with at the minor league level.

The young players that we have on this team, we’ve got about five or six position players that have under a year of service time but I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with those players and I’m just so proud of them because of the work that they put in and now watching them develop and compete at the Major League level, I couldn’t be happier for them,” said DeRenne. “This is a whole (different) animal up here and even for me. Every week, every day that goes by it’s a learning process for me and I think that’s what is going to help me in the long run. Always keeping my eyes open, keeping my ears open, asking questions and watching how people do things at the highest level, it’s surreal and it’s pretty unique and it’s special and I understand why it’s the big leagues.”

As both his players and DeRenne make those significant strides in development it must be noted that those strides are being taken with the arguably the ‘sickest’ shoe game for a big league coach as DeRenne rotates seven to eight different shoes to match the number of different uniforms that the club wears throughout the season.

“I’m going to give a shout out to Shane Victorino, my by who supplied me with my Jordan’s that I do wear and I have about six different pairs of shoes that I wear. It’s part of my personality, I’ve always been into shoes and to me it looks good and my players always comment on it so I know that I’m doing something to keep in line with them and be able to relate to them,” said DeRenne.

In one of the pictures of DeRenne’s shoes in his locker that he shared with DeMello, front and center was a pair of black rubber slippers.

“That will probably never leave me. That’s always a humbling reminder of where I came from and what I’m about and who I represent and that’s my family, my friends, and everyone out there too. Wherever I go people always say you can take the boy off the island but you can’t take the island out of the boy. Just prideful of where I come from.”

DeRenne and the Royals open a seven game road trip on Thursday in Minnesota. Currently the Royals are currently 14-28 on the season. He is one of five assistant coaches at the Major League level in the 2022 season joining Hilo’s Kai Correa of the Giants, Honolulu’s Brendan Sagara with the Rangers and Mike Fetters with the Diamondbacks.