Yay! The Angels have a new hitting coach. That's a good thing, right? It has to be, doesn't it?
By all accounts, Don Baylor is one of the best hitting coaches in the league for both his coaching ability and general clubhouse presence. Surely this will pay off for the 2014 Angels since the story we've long clung to is that the Halos have had nothing but the worst hitting coaches throughout Mike Scioscia's tenure. That's the assumption anyway. We don't actually really know. All we have to go on is the kind words of players who were under his tutelage and the beat reporters who hung around Baylor. Baylor might be the greatest hitting coach in the world for all we know, but will it actually translate to an increase in production for the Angels?
Well, there's one way to find out and that is looking at the numbers. Starting at a macro level, we can do before and after comparisons of how the many teams that Baylor has served as hitting coach have fared. To do this, we'll look at the team numbers the two years before he hot hired, the numbers during his tenure and one year after he left the team. For the purposes of this exercise we will only look at his hitting coach career and ignore his managerial stints in Colorado and Chicago as well as his bench coach gig with the Mets.
Milwaukee Brewers (1990-1991)
So far, so good. Steady improvements across the board as average, walk rate and, to a lesser degree, power went up. Considering that Baylor's two years coincided with Yount and Molitor entering their mid-thirties, it is a strong endorsement that the team didn't decline. Then again, they are Hall of Fame talents, so Baylor may not have done a darn thing.no comments