The Rangers have hired former Red Sox hitting coach, Dave Magadan, to fill the same position. Scott Coolbaugh will apparently be offered a different position within the organization.
As I recently mentioned, I was opposed to removing Coolbaugh as hitting coach, but I figured if a coach was to be replaced, it would be him. This past season the Rangers’ offense was first in the Majors in runs scored (808), 3rd in batting average (.273), 4th in on base percentage (.334), and ranked in the top-5 in both wRC+ (105) and wOBA (.336).
Although I wasn’t in favor of replacing Scott Coolbaugh in a knee-jerk sort of fashion, Magadan seems on paper like a pretty clear and substantial upgrade, if you are one to put stock in just how much hitting coaches can affect a team’s offense. His name came up in various managerial openings last offseason, including the Red Sox, and should carry a little more clout in the clubhouse with some of the Rangers’ veterans.
One thing Red Sox offenses have been notorious for in the recent past is drawing a lot of walks, although, with a shallower lineup in 2012 Boston was second-to-last in all of baseball in walk rate (6.9%). With guys like Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz coming off down years at the plate, it’ll be interesting to see if a new voice can swing the pendulum in the opposite direction.
I don’t know if the hitting coach is really going to make that big of a difference, being that the Rangers have a lot of established hitters inhabiting the lineup, but if there was going to be a change, Magadan certainly has a reputation for being one of the best in the game. So from that standpoint, this has to be considered a win for the Rangers.