Can New York Yankees New Hitting Coaches Save the Yankees Line-up? Last year (2014) the…
Old Yankees are Back – Kevin Long was the Problem
What have the Yankees changed?
Yankees lead the league in slugging and hitting numbers have jumped up to 50 points higher than last few years.
Every year the NY Yankees are amongst the most talented group of baseball players in the MLB. Since they are one of the best organization for producing winning teams you can say their players are always amongst the elite and they are certainly paid the highest. The last few years the Yankees have struggled offensively even with a star studded line up. They have been one of the bottom ten teams offensively since 2013, but this year has been different.
They are nearly back to hitting like the Yankees of old and management is starting to finally feel that their investments in all the high priced players are finally paying off. The jump this year in offensive production has been so significant from the last 3 years.
This makes one wonder what is so different from this year to the past 3 or so years?
Each year the Yankees pick up the top free agents to add to their already talented roster. They are and have been able to grab the best free agents and lure them over to Yankee Stadium. The reason for their offensive struggles in past years has not been because of a lack of talent. They have always had talent, but most of the talented players who have been picked up by the Yankees in recent years like a Mark Texiera, Curtis Granderson, or a Carlos Beltran have under performed.
As a matter of fact the whole Yankee roster has in recent years and the team had to endure team batting averages well below .250 ( .245 last year in 2014). Last year we did a review on the Yankees 2014 season and we noted that it would be interesting to see what happens with the Yankees when Hitting Coach Kevin Long got fired. Some of the major stats we noted was that the Yankees batting stats have gone down at least 10 points a year in slugging and team batting average since he has been with the club in 2007. They nearly were the worst hitting team in the league last year and we wanted to see if his absence has made a difference.
The stats this year prove that Long was a part of the Yankees offensive problems.
They already have improved their team batting average by more than 10 points and are ranked 11th in this category ( .257). They lead the league in slugging percentage at .430 and are tops in homeruns. With no major changes in the line up from the usual changes in years past, the Yankees completely turned it around; a ten point jump in team batting is significant. Their slugging went up more than 50 points from the last few years which is even more significant!
So now the Yankees offense is trending back up to where it once was and as it should be with all that talent. The past 5 years have been an obvious trend backward that management failed to realize until they fired Long. Long was recently hired by the Mets as their hitting coach and his negative trend continues as the Mets are bottoming out offensively, hitting .235 as a team. The Mets are more talented than you think and actually led MLB teams in hitting in spring training.
Long, like 90 percent of all hitting coaches in the league, experience problems in leading their offense in run production because of the trends that they help set with their teams. This is why we say hitting and teaching hitting is a mystery so misunderstood that professional baseball is the only sport where hitting coaches thrive and are allowed to work in the MLB even though they continually fail.
(For more on Kevin Long and the Yankees please refer to our 2014 Yankees review and predictions http://moneyballhitter.com/new-york-yankees-2014-15-team-review/)