In a story first broken by Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox will be hiring former Yankee and most recently Athletics’ hitting coach Chili Davis as their new hitting coach. In an article posted on BSI yesterday, this author gave a quick biography of Davis.
"Chili Davis had a distinguished 19 season major league career from 1981 to 1999. Davis slugged 350 homers, amassed 2,380 hits, and was a three-time World Champion, in 1991 with the Twins and in his final two seasons with the Yankees. Davis has been the hitting coach for the Athletics the past three seasons, after spending one season in the same capacity for the Pawtucket Red Sox. The Yankees are among those vying for their former slugger’s services."
Last year with Davis as the hitting coach, the Athletics led the Majors in runs until a mid-August slump, still finishing the season fourth in the Majors in runs scored with 729 despite a team hitting line of .244/.320/.381. The Athletics were nothing if not efficient last season, sporting the lowest OPS of the top 11 scoring teams. The Red Sox were 18th last season with 634 runs with a slash line of .244/.316/.369. With Davis as the hitting coach, Josh Donaldson blossomed from hitting nine homers in 2012 to hitting 24 and 29 the past two years. Brandon Moss flourished as well with the Athletics, hitting 76 homers in the last three seasons over 376 games after hitting only 15 in the first 249 games of his major league career.
While Kevin Long was also a candidate for the Red Sox hitting coach job, the last two seasons have been disappointing offensively for Long’s Yankees. Davis’ Athletics have excelled in his tenure.