It kinda felt like we were going to get Cubs hitting coach news today, with the Boston Red Sox letting their successful hitting coach hit the open market for other opportunities. But that was actually either just a coincidence of timing, or it shook loose other pursuits.
Because that’s not the guy the Cubs are grabbing:
The Cubs are planning to hire Greg Brown as their new hitting coach, sources told me and @sahadevsharma. Brown previously served as Tampa Bay’s minor-league hitting coordinator. As an area scout, Brown signed Kiké Hernández and J.D. Martinez as part of Houston’s 2009 draft class.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) November 1, 2021
In recent years, “minor league hitting coordinator to big league hitting coach” has been the pipeline you see if you’re not hiring a current hitting coach, so this rings pretty true. Turns out, it was a VERY rapid rise for Brown, who was just two years ago coaching at Nova Southeaster University.
As the hitting coordinator for the wildly successful Rays minor league system, you’ve gotta presume Brown knows his stuff. Also, a scouting background before he was a coach? All the better. And the Cubs were quick to pounce.
I don’t know how much credit you can ascribe to the hitting coordinator, specifically, over the last two years of Rays development (they obviously do so much so well), or how well it will translate at the big league level, but I do like that the Cubs are taking a big swing here. No pun intended.
That said, we’re talking about a team that has featured NINE hitting coach or assistant hitting coach departures over the last 10 years. Maybe they finally have it figured out with Brown (and presumably Chris Valaika staying on as assistant hitting coach). Maybe not.
Either way, we’ll dig in more soon on the hire if and when it’s made official.