Nov 2, 2006

Kevin Long?

I'd never heard of Kevin Long before he replaced Don Mattingly as the Yanks hitting coach. Here's the scoop. Lee Maz was fired, and Don Mattingly will replace him as the Yanks bench coach. Long will take over as hitting coach. He's been the AAA Columbus Clippers hitting coach for the last 3 years. I think a fair way to judge him is to look at the Clippers OPS.

Batting stats for the 2006 AAA International League.
Clippers OPS - .733
Good for 4th (out of 14) in the IL.

Pretty good. Of course, these numbers depend A LOT on the hitters (more so than the Majors probably), but the fact that Kevin Long did this without any stud hitting prospects (I don't count Melky as a stud - he also only played 31 games) - unlike many of the other IL teams - is impressive.

In 2005, Columbus ranked 6th in the IL with a .762 OPS (in which Robbie Cano played just 24 games). It's ironic that the 2005 OPS was higher but their rank was lower, which indicates either better pitching and/or worse hitting in the league this year. (I wonder if it's related to illegal substance testing... but that's a huge can of worms that I don't want to open now.)

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