Those who can’t do teach. But what about those that just couldn’t do in the Major Leagues? Alonzo Powell had a terrible Major League career by all accounts. He hit .211/.287/.342 for his career and only lasted 2 years. Then, he went to Japan. Then, he put it together. In Japan, playing for the Chunichi Dragons, Powell won three batting titles and was a two-time All Star. Powell spent seven seasons in Japan learning both the art and science of hitting.
So even those who do, and do quite well, can teach. Powell has been hired as the Padres Assistant Hitting Coach. He will compliment current Hitting Coach Phil Plantier. The beauty of the pairing is in the added availability of coaches to players. Plantier will be the bench guy, the one in uniform during games and in the dugout. Powell will have a more behind the scenes type role. He will coach the indoor batting cage sessions, work with players during rehab, and provide vital assistance in some of the off-field areas of coaching.
As baseball changes, grows, and becomes more technologically advanced, a single hitting coach will not work. Success is a derivative of how well teams adapt. Powell will play a huge role in helping carry the Padres into the future. While Plantier is working on pre-game drills, Powell can be in the video room helping cut tape, scouting, or finding holes in a swing. While Plantier is on the bench, intensely focused on the game, Powell can make quick changes to a player’s swing mid-game in the indoor cages. Powell has the versatility to be what the Padres hitters need, when they need it.
Innovation keeps you ahead of the curve, and while two hitting coaches isn’t ground breaking, it’s far from the norm. If Powell can provide any additional offensive boost, the gains will be soundly realized. A few more runs here and there could be the difference between a last place finish and a Wild Card berth or even a division crown.