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Orioles have new hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh, former major leaguer

The Orioles hired a new hitting coach on Friday night: Former major leaguer Scott Coolbaugh, who has coached and managed through the minors and majors for the past 15 years.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

About a month after the mysterious reassignment of their previous hitting coach, the Orioles hired a new one on Friday night: Scott Coolbaugh, a former major leaguer who spent time with the Rangers, Padres, and Cardinals over a brief career from 1989-1994. Most recently, Coolbaugh was the minor league hitting coordinator for the Rangers this season.

The Baltimore Sun reported on the O's interest in Coolbaugh on Thursday night, and MASN's Roch Kubatko added that a two-hour interview on Friday between Coolbaugh, Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson went very well.

Coolbaugh, 48, was a coach and manager in the Diamondbacks system partially coinciding with Showalter's tenure with that organization. He managed at both the Single-A and Double-A level in different years and also served as a Double-A hitting coach between 1999 and 2004.

Later, Coolbaugh worked in the Rangers organization, serving as a Double-A and Triple-A hitting coach between 2007 and 2011 and even taking over as the big league hitting coach in the middle of the 2011 season. He went on to serve the full 2012 season, a season in which the Orioles press release would like you to know that Texas led the majors in runs scored (808) and wild card games lost (1). I added that second one.

Texas also ranked second in the AL in total bases (2493) and batting average (.272) during the 2012 season with Coolbaugh coaching. That is indeed impressive, but if Texas was really that impressed, he probably would have coached more than one season.

Over parts of four big league seasons, Coolbaugh batted .215/.281/.310, so you can probably imagine whatever he brings to the table as a hitting coach, it's not based on personal success with big league hitting. What kind of philosophy will he bring? Does he have any great success stories working on fixing minor leaguers or big leaguers? Who knows!

His big league statistics from 20 years ago probably doesn't have much to do with his ability to do this job. Years ago I remember reading some writer's thoughts on this subject. I don't remember who wrote it any more, but the point was that some great, legendary baseball hitter probably can't teach anyone anything about hitting. He could just do it. A guy who experienced struggles can likely identify that in others and help to correct it. Or at least that's the theory.

No one should expect that Coolbaugh is going to come in here and get Adam Jones to stop swinging at pitches in the dirt, but maybe he'll be able to work with Jonathan Schoop for the same effect, or figure out how to get Chris Davis back to his 2013 form. He impressed Showalter. That counts for something.

On the subject of Davis:

Davis' time in the minors with the Rangers would have lined up with Coolbaugh's time as a coach at those levels between 2007 and 2011.