Back on August 13, 2019, the Phillies organization decided to move on from hitting coach John Mallee and with doing that they brought back former manager Charlie Manuel for the remainder of the season. Reporters asked the team if Charlie’s job would continue beyond the 2019 season and the club said it would just be for the rest of year. The firing of John Mallee came down from the owner himself. With the season winding down the Phillies will need a new full time hitting coach in 2020 that can make this inconsistent offense more of a consistent offense night in and night out. Here are three the hitting coach’s that the Philadelphia Phillies should interview and consider to be their new hitting coach in 2020.
Troy Snitker: Astros
The first person I would look at his Troy Snitker, who is currently the hitting coach for the Houston Astros. Snitker was named the Astros hitting coach on November 21, 2018. This was Snitker’s first year on the Major League coaching staff, but his fourth with the Astros organization. He was the hitting coach for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2018; he was named the Texas League’s Inaugural Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Coach of the Year. The award is given to a Texas League figure who has shown an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game, and skill in mentoring young players on the field. In 2017, Troy was also the hitting coach of the GCL Astros. The Astros are one of the best hitting teams this year and rank near the top in the following categories: average, OBP, SLG, OPS, and XBH.
Andy Barkett: Red Sox
Barkett was named the assistant hitting coach of the Boston Red Sox on November 4, 2017. Before joining Boston, Andy Barkett spent 12 seasons as a minor league coach, manager, and coordinator. In 2018, along with hitting coach Tim Hyers, he helped the Red Sox lead the MLB in runs scored (876), runs per game (5.4), average (.2689), OBP (.339), SLG (.453), OPS (.792), doubles (355), and XBH (594). To go along with these numbers in 2018 the Red Sox also led the majors in average and OPS with RISP (.289/.872) and with two strikes (.200/.590). The Red Sox also hit ten grand slams in 2018. He coached in Pirates organization with success; he has also been a part of the Marlins and Tigers organization. The Red Sox might not make the playoffs this year, but they are still a top hitting ball club this year. During his entire baseball coaching career, the teams he has been part of have produced well at the plate and he would be a good fit for the Phillies.
Rudy Hernandez: Twins
The 2019 MLB season marker the 24th season for Hernandez in the Twins organization and his 19th in a coaching capacity. In 2017 as the assistant hitting coach, the Twins scored a total of 815 runs (4th most in team history) and 206 home runs (3rd most in team history). Also in 2017 Twins hitters ranked third in the American League in walks (593) and fourth in runs scored (815) and on-base percentage (.334). In 2019 the Twins are near the top of the entire MLB in average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS. Hernandez would be another perfect fit for the Phillies organization
When the Phillies season comes to an end, which will, unfortunately, most likely be September 29, the team will have a lot of questions that will need to be answered during the offseason. Does ownership bring back the front office and manager? Whatever decisions that ownership may make; the one question is who will be the Phillies next hitting coach. These three names on the big three that I would interview and go after as soon as they possibly can. The Phillies need a new approach at the plate, and the offense needs to be more consistent from Game 1 to Game 162.
Honorable Mention: Eric Hinske (Diamondbacks), P.J. Pillittere (Yankees) and Jim Thome