FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Are you able to match these up with any sustained player breakouts during their tenures?

    Comment by B — January 17, 2013 @ 11:31 am

  2. This pops into my head all the time when I’m watching games and the commentator goes, “(insert Padres player) has been working with hitting coach Phil Plantier to improve his (insert reason why said Padres player look terrible at the plate).” Ummm, what knowledge of hitting exactly does Phil Plantier have to offer? If anything, he’s advising the young Pads on how to best avoid fulfilling their potential.

    Comment by Cus — January 17, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  3. Think Dave Hudgens is supposed to be listed as the Mets’ hitting coach

    Comment by DonChrysler — January 17, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

  4. I’ve always felt you don’t need to be “able to do it” to teach it. Some coaches on this list are phenominal at their job – even if their physical pitfuls didn’t allow them to become star hitters at the major league level.

    For the same reason – I disagree that Golf professionals must maintain a certain handicap to maintain that status and teach others how to golf. It’s stupid. You think when Jack’s 70 he wouldn’t be able to teach people what they should be doing?

    On the flipside – I suspect there are many superstar baseball players or golfers or hockey players who wouldn’t be able to teach people the first thing about succeeding. Some superstars have no idea what or why they do what they do and rely soley on their god given athletic ability.

    Comment by Allan Brownridge — January 17, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

  5. Those who “can” do.. Those who “can’t”, teach. Wonder if that adage holds true for hitting coaches (teachers). Guess this article is trying to address that.

    Comment by Cidron — January 17, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  6. First and foremost.. You have to be able to teach. Alot of the personalities that stars generally have, really dont translate into good teaching. Talentwise, would you want to learn to shoot a basketball from MJ? Sure.. but, as a person, not a chance.

    Comment by Cidron — January 17, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

  7. Mildly interesting, but trivial for the reasons you mentioned.
    Ted Williams was the best batter I can remember serving as a hitting coach. If I recall correctly, which is always dubious, he was not good at it.

    Comment by Baltar — January 17, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

  8. In Moneyball Hatterberg mentions clashing with Jim Rice as a hitting coach in Boston. How Rice who was a see it/hit it player would challenge Hatteberg for not being more aggressive, despite the fact that their skill set was so different.

    Comment by Tomcat — January 17, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

  9. There is an anecdote involving Williams tutoring Bobby Doerr. Williams kept telling Doerr to increase his bat speed and he’d go to the cage a show Doerr how to wait on a pitch. Doerr finally told Williams that probably no one had his bat speed, he, Doerr, sure didn’t have any more, unless could Ted lend him some.

    Comment by chanelclemente — January 17, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  10. I don’t go back far enough to remember Williams as a Red Sox hitting coach. When he took over the Senators, players with skillsets as disparate as Mike Epstein and Ed Brinkman had career years. Coincidence or correlation? I dunno. Frank Howard doubled his walk rate, with I think would be correlation.

    Comment by jwb — January 21, 2013 @ 3:35 am

  11. Relaying information and facilitating skill development to others is in itself a separate skill from possessing those skills and knowledge yourself. That can-do/can’t-teach adage has never been true, which is why so many are skilled/knowledgable yet horrible teachers. Aren’t we above adages here?

    Comment by Dauber — January 21, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

  12. The most impressive name on that list, in terms of having a great plate approach when he played, is Dave Magadan. That’s the guy I would want as my hitting coach.

    Comment by dcs — January 23, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

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