Rick van den Hurk has been appointed Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation technical director ©Getty Images

The Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB) has appointed former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Rick van den Hurk to the role of technical director.

Van den Hurk retired as a player last month and has quickly transitioned into a key management position at the KNBSB.

Van den Hurk has signed a 30-month contract initially, so is set to dictate the KNBSB's high-performance policies until the end of 2024.

"It feels like my mission to be able to share the knowledge and experience I have gained in my baseball career with the new generation of talents within the Kingdom of The Netherlands," he said.

"I want to translate the more than 20 years of experience I have on the field into a technical policy that fits within today's baseball and the KNBSB needs.

"I am convinced that my experience with the different management styles within baseball organizations and the international network that I have built up during my career, will contribute to putting Dutch baseball back on the map. 

"This basically starts with local associations and the promotion of talent within the development programs of Team NL. 

"The goal is clear: to get the Dutch youth back to baseball."

Van den Hurk, now 36, pitched in the United States, Japan and South Korea during his professional playing career.

The righty played for the Florida Marlins, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates before moving to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and later Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Van den Hurk won KBO and NPB titles, the former with the Samsung Lions and latter playing for both the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

Van den Hurk also played for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.