Mike Barnett will be the Houston Astros hitting coach in 2011 after serving as their minor league hitting coach the past two seasons. Barnett has a strong resume in terms of experience and is familiar with most of Houston’s hitter having worked in the organization. His familiarity was certainly a key to his hire. Let’s look at some of his past gigs:
2002-Midway 2005 Hitting Coach, Toronto Blue Jays
2005 Hitting Instructor, Boston Red Sox
2006-2008 Hitting Coach, Kansas City Royals
2009-2010 Minor League Hitting Coach, Houston Astros
I have no reason to feel pessimistic about this move. Barnett has knowledge of Houston’s hitters and seems to be highly respected by both Brad Mills and Ed Wade. It won’t be easy to fill the shoes of one of the organization’s biggest icons but this Barnett’s been a major league hitting coach before. And if he can get Jason Castro, Brett Wallace, Tommy Manzella, and the rest of the Astros to hit…he just may be an icon himself.