The Houston Astros are rumored to be interested in Milt Thompson for their hitting coach position, vacated by Franchise icon Jeff Bagwell. Thompson has been the hitting coach in Philadelphia since 2004. Since he took over, the Phillies have consistently been one of the best offenses in the NL, and baseball as a whole. He was the hitting coach for the 2008 team that won the World Series. In his playing career, Thompson hit .274 with 214 stolen bases.
Rudy Jaramillo’s 2010 season with the Chicago Cubs makes me a bit weary about how much impact a hitting coach can have. At least in their first season. One year probably wasn’t enough time to see what Bagwell was truly capable of in the position but he chose not to return.
The Astros also hope to add some improved offensive pieces to help Thompson, or whoever becomes the new hitting coach. Rookies Jason Castro and Brett Wallace can really only improve. Carlos Lee should have a bounce-back season after the worst year of his career. And Houston brass are determined to improve the offense in the middle of the infield as SS and 2B were two huge glaring weaknesses offensively for the 2010 Stros.
Milt Thompson was let go this summer by the Phillies for reasons I don’t know. Apparently half a season of poor hitting weighs more than 5+ of good hitting?? But if a hitting coach truly can have an impact on a team’s hitting, his resume certainly speaks for itself. All signs point to this being a great hire if the Astros can pull it off.