In baseball, you can never have enough pitching and the Royals figure you can’t have enough hitting coaches. The Royals hired Jack Maloof as their new hitting coach and Andre David as the assistant hitting coach for the 2013 season, replacing the departed Kevin Seitzer.
Maloof, 63, spent the last five seasons as special assistant to player development and hitting coordinator. He was in the Atlanta organization from 2002-07 and the Marlins’ hitting coach from 1999-2001. Maloof will be the primary on-field batting coach.
David, 54, has been a part of the Royals organization for 14 years. He was the Royals Minor League hitting coach from May 2005 to May 2006. For the last three seasons, David was the hitting coach for Surprise in the Rookie Arizona League. David will assist Maloof with batting coach duties.
With both Maloof and David being a part of the Royals organization, they have familiarity with the current Major League players and players in the Minor League system. The 2012 Royals were fourth in the A.L. with a .265 batting average, but were 12th in the A.L. with 676 runs scored and tied for last in the A.L. with 131 home runs. Maloof and David hope to improve the Royals power hitting and home run totals.
But why two hitting coaches? There’s concern two hitting coaches might send mixed signals to the players, but Maloof and David insist they work well together and are on the same page hitting wise. If that’s the case, they can work on two different players at the same time, being able to coach more players. And though the hitting philosophy of Maloof and David are likely to be the same, some players might “click” better with one of the coaches, increasing their chances to improve their hitting. Of course there’s the danger of the players forming “cliques,” liking one coach over the other, which could cause friction.
There’s also the “extra set of eyes” from David that gives Maloof another perspective. During games, David will be in the stands, observing batters to see what they’re doing right or doing wrong. Maloof can use the information to improve the Royals hitting.
Many teams have their pitching coach as the “primary” coach and their bullpen coach as the “assistant” pitching coach, so it’s not too far fetched to have two hitting coaches. The Giants, Tigers, Braves, Cardinals, Phillies and Padres have two hitting coaches. The Giants and Tigers are in the World Series, and the Braves and Cardinals made the playoffs, so there’s the argument two hitting coaches can be successful. With the hire of Maloof and David, The Royals are the second A.L. team to employ two hitting coaches.
The promotions of Maloof and David won’t magically propel the Royals above .500 and into the playoffs. The Royals main focus this off season is starting pitching. But they need players like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to reach their offensive potential and the team needs to score more runs. The Royals hope Maloof and David will take the team’s offense to the next level. Who knows, maybe they’ll get Chris Getz hitting opposite field home runs. Hey, they’re hitting coaches, not miracle workers.