Yesterday, the Brewers made a hire to replace Chicago bound, former hitting coach, Dale Sveum. They went with a familiar name, Johnny Narron. When the announcement was first made, I was confused. Nothing new there.
What I thought, was the Brewers had moved bench coach Jerry Narron, to hitting coach. Which blew my mind temporarily.
I spent the first hour trying to figure out what the point of that move was. My brain was trying to put pieces together that were just not there. Imagine smashing two pumpkins together at the same time, then trying to piece them each back together. Who would want to move from bench coach to hitting coach? Was he going to do both? Are they doing this to free up money? Then I realized how disappointingly stupid I was.
Little did I know that there were TWO Narrons’. Jerry has a brother, who coincidentally helped Josh Hamilton re-emerge as one of the most prolific sluggers in baseball. This guy was the assistant hitting coach for the back-to-back AL Champion Texas Rangers. One of the most spectacular slugging teams in the game today. That Narron, Johnny, is going to be handling our boom sticks from now on.
Johnny Narron spent some time working in the Brewers organization from ’03 to ’06. He spent most of his time coaching the Helena Brewers, both as a hitting coach and the Skipper. This gives him some familiarity with the organization and a few of this teams budding superstars. Narron already has a relationship with our big 3; Braun, Weeks, and Hart. That familiarity with those key hitters will be very important and certainly did not hurt his chances at landing this job.
If the Brewers decide to retain Casey McGehee, that will be something to watch. Narron seems to be able to help guys find the sweet spot on the bat and no one needs that more than McGehee. Then again, this move also makes me feel better about a possible Yuni return. If those two can put it together, maybe we won’t miss Prince quite as much.
For your Yuni and McGehee Consideration:
Mike Napoli 2010 (Angels) : 26 HR, 68 RBI’s, 137 K’s, .238 BA, .468 SLG%, and 42 walks
Mike Napoli 2011 (Rangers) : 30 HR, 75 RBI’s, 85 K’s, .320 BA, .631 SLG%, and 58 walks
While the Home Run numbers do not blow your mind, the batting average and slugging percentage jumps sure do. If this guy could turn Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli into slugging machines, imagine what he is going to do with this Brewers team.
I love this hire, I really do. You lose a great players coach in Sveum, then you replace him with another players coach. A guy who is going to be more than just a coach, but a mentor. Narron did more than just help Josh Hamilton become a better hitter, he helped him become a better person. This team certainly has some young guys who could use a little guidance. This was a very smart hire.
PRINCE SWEEPSTAKES UPDATE:
This is something we will be following for the next few weeks. As of today, the current suitors are as follows:
Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, and Chicago Cubs
All three of these teams are officially in the race. None of these are surprising, although I would hope he has more sense than to go play for the Nationals. Just sayin’.
This is a great article that was sent to me by John Matisz of the London Community News, thought it was worth passing on to all of you. It talks about current Brewers infielder Brock Kjeldgaard and how much he means to his hometown of London, Ontario. Sounds like this kid is the hottest thing to come out of Canada since John Axford‘s Mustache. Brock was recently added to the Brewers 40 man roster, so we will be seeing more of him soon. This article gives you some great background on this kid and what we can expect from him in the future. Thanks John!!