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The Hitting Stats for the Hitting Coaches
The Miami Marlins named former Cardinal and Devil Ray and Mariner and Yankee Tino Martinez as their new hitting coach this offseason, shortly after the departure of Ozzie Guillen and his staff — including Guillen’s hitting coach, former major leaguer Eduardo Perez.
There’s nothing to suggest, so far as the author knows, that a player’s own personal hitting ability is a determinative factor in his ability to coach others well in that same art. That said, it’s also the case that Martinez was an above-average hitter over the course of his 16-year career.
“How, generally, have the league’s batting coaches performed as major leaguers?” the author, who constructs thoughts in full sentences, asked himself. The answer, one finds, is best presented in the form of a table, not unlike the one below.
Here, then, are the major-league stats for the 23 current hitting coaches with major-league experience:
|Greg Colbrunn||Red Sox||3017||5.6%||14.7%||98||.289||.338||.460||.312||107||9.3|
|Jeff Manto||White Sox||822||11.8%||22.1%||31||.230||.329||.415||.265||97||0.9|
|Chad Mottola||Blue Jays||137||7.3%||20.4%||4||.200||.263||.344||.223||54||-1.0|
|Ty Van Burkleo||Indians||44||13.6%||22.7%||1||.132||.250||.289||.148||49||0.1|
• Absent from this list are the seven coaches who never played in the majors. They are as follows, presented in no particular order: John Mallee (Astros), Jack Maloof (Royals), Kevin Long (Yankees), Derek Shelton (Rays), James Rowson (Cubs), Johnny Narron (Brewers), Rick Eckstein (Nationals).
• The averages are simple averages — that is, not weighted by plate appearances.
• By this method, it appears as though 14 present hitting coaches were above-average major-league hitters. Nine more were below average. Seven more, as noted above, didn’t play at the major-league level.
• Mark McGwire was decidedly the best hitter of the league’s current hitting coaches — or, certainly the most productive one.
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