Will Royals’ New Hitting Coaches Help? Reviewed by Momizat on . Can two hitting coaches succeed where one did not? With the hiring/promotions  of Jack Maloof and Andre David on Wednesday to replace Kevin Seitzer, the Royals  Can two hitting coaches succeed where one did not? With the hiring/promotions  of Jack Maloof and Andre David on Wednesday to replace Kevin Seitzer, the Royals  Rating:
You Are Here: Home » Baseball » Baseball Chatter » Will Royals’ New Hitting Coaches Help?

Will Royals’ New Hitting Coaches Help?

Will Royals’ New Hitting Coaches Help?

Can two hitting coaches succeed where one did not?

With the hiring/promotions  of Jack Maloof and Andre David on Wednesday to replace Kevin Seitzer, the Royals  have joined a small but growing group of teams with two hitting coaches. The obvious question is, are two heads better than one?

I have to say, I like the idea. It stands to reason that in a group of 12-14 people, there are going to be communication difficulties sometimes. Having a second hitting coach seems like it would help with that problem, even though both coaches should be trying to express the same ideas. Also, having another pair of eyes to study each hitter has to be helpful. And both coaches should have familiarity with a good portion of the roster, which also figures to be a plus.

Because both Maloof (who will be the primary hitting coach) and David (who won’t be allowed to be on the bench during games but will certainly be in the video room or locker room for consultation) have been with the Royals organization for years, there will (I hope) be a built-in comfort level with the Royals’ younger players. Maloof has been the Royals’ minor-league hitting instructor for three years, which was David’s job before he became the hitting coach for Surprise in the Arizona Rookie League.

I think there are two ways to assess this move, although neither may tell us much about the chances of this working out. It’s very difficult to teach the plate discipline the Royals need; it will really take an organizational effort to find, draft, and develop players with a good grasp of the strike zone. However, we can look at Maloof’s and David’s previous coaching jobs and see if their teams improved, and we can also look at the few teams who employ two hitting coaches and see if they improved.

Maloof served as the Marlins’ hitting coach from 1999-2001 (he also had a short stint as the Padres’ hitting coach in 1990, which we will ignore in favor of a larger sample size). Here’s a look at the Marlins’ numbers for his time as hitting coach, plus the year before he started and the year after he left.

YEAR Runs/Gm HRs OBP SLG OPS+ Avg age
1998 4.12 114 .317 .373 86 25.4
1999 4.27 128 .325 .395 87 25.2
2000 4.54 160 .331 .409 91 26.2
2001 4.58 166 .326 .423 95 27.3
2002 4.31 146 .337 .403 97 28.4

 

There is definitely improvement there. It’s hard to say whether that is due to Maloof’s efforts, or just the normal maturation process for what was obviously a young team. Still, I see some reason for optimism there, although it is a little concerning that the Marlins couldn’t be even league-average in those seasons.

David’s only previous experience as a major league hitting coach was from May 2005 to May 2006 with the Royals. I assume most of you are familiar with the horror that was Royals baseball then, and I’m not sure we can draw much of a conclusion from less than a full season.

Meanwhile, the Royals join the Braves, Cardinals, Giants, Padres, Phillies and Tigers as teams with two hitting coaches. Obviously a few of those teams had very nice seasons, although a couple of them were not very good.

The Phillies just hired Wally Joyner as their second hitting coach, so we’ll throw them out of this exercise. Also, the Tigers added Toby Harrah as their second coach during the season, so we’ll exclude them as well. The other four teams have all had the two-coach setup for only one season. Here’s the before and after:

Team Runs/Gm HRs Team OBP Team SLG Team OPS+
2011 Braves 3.96 173 .308 .387 90
2012 Braves 4.32 149 .320 .389 90
2011 Cards 4.70 162 .341 .425 112
2012 Cards 4.72 159 .338 .421 107
2011 Giants 3.52 121 .303 .368 93
2012 Giants 4.43 103 .327 .397 107
2011 Padres 3.66 91 .305 .349 86
2012 Padres 4.02 121 .319 .380 96

 

Again, this looks like there is some improvement from year to year with two hitting coaches. Only the Cardinals  had lesser numbers, and that probably had a lot to do with losing Albert Pujols. It’s actually kind of amazing that they didn’t fall off more.

And of course, by bringing up Pujols, I bring up the weakness of every hitting coach: if you don’t have talented players, you’ll end up looking bad. Obviously the Royals don’t have anyone of that caliber; however, they do have plenty of guys who are believed to be talented. It will be up to Maloof and David to help develop that talent.

 

Clip to Evernote

About The Author

Darin Watson

I grew up in Topeka, and learned to love the Royals over many summer nights listening to Denny and Fred. Of course, the Royals were much easier to love back then. They got their claws in me some 30 years ago, then they went to the playoffs in 1984 and won it all in 1985. And I thought to myself, “This is easy. This team is always going to be good!” Sigh. But what can I say? If I’ve made it this far, I suppose I will always be a fan. But whenever they get good again, I’ll be sure not to take it for granted. I promise. I’m also a fan of the Chiefs, Jayhawks (even the football team) and the Nashville Predators. By day, I’m a mild-mannered project manager for a publishing company, and every night I’m lucky to come home to my amazing wife Michelle. We’ve been married since 2005 and live in Overland Park. Fun fact, she grew up in Memphis watching many future Royals when Kansas City’s AA team was there. So it didn’t take much to make a Royals fan out of her. We don’t have kids, but we’ve got three cats (one named after Alex Gordon) and a dog. Follow me on Twitter! @Darin_Watson

Number of Entries : 284

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

© 2014 Powered By Wordpress

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

Scroll to top