The Milwaukee Brewers are searching for their next hitting coach. One really good one just became available.
In our look at external hitting coach candidates the Brewers should target in their search, we mentioned Peter Fatse, the assistant hitting coach for the Red Sox, partly because of the unexpected offensive success of the Red Sox this season. The focus was on targeting the assistant hitting coach because it was assumed the main hitting coach, Tim Hyers, would be unavailable.
Well, that has changed.
Hitting coach Tim Hyers declines Red Sox’ offer to return next season to pursue other opportunities. The Sox led MLB in runs per game under him over the last 4 years https://t.co/2tOCISgMR1 via @BostonGlobe
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) November 1, 2021
The Red Sox wanted to bring Hyers back, but he declined the offer and wants to pursue other opportunities. That’s different than most hitting coaches who are on the open market because they were fired from their previous positions.
The Milwaukee Brewers absolutely need to put in a call to Tim Hyers about being the Crew’s next hitting coach.
As Alex Speier’s tweet notes, the Red Sox led MLB in runs per game over the last 4 seasons with Hyers as hitting coach. While they undoubtedly had a very talented roster in that time, Hyers was able to maximize that group’s potential.
This snippet from Speier’s article should catch the Brewers interest:
In his first season, Hyers helped overhaul the approaches of Red Sox hitters such as Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, helping them to identify pitches they could drive rather than the ground-ball-heavy approaches that preceded his arrival. The resulting breakthroughs for both players vaulted them to new heights, with Betts winning the 2018 MVP award and the Sox steamrolling teams en route to 108 wins.
In 2018, he helped turn Mookie Betts into an MVP hitter by turning Betts away from a ground-ball-heavy approach and identifying pitches to drive. Well, it just so happens the Brewers also have a 2018 MVP that struggles with a ground-ball-heavy approach and needs to identify pitches he can drive.
This sounds exactly like the type of hitting coach the Brewers need to hire to get Christian Yelich and others back on track.
Hyers, 50, could see a great opportunity in Milwaukee to work with some talented hitters like Yelich, Keston Hiura, Luis Urias, and Willy Adames. He also knows Jackie Bradley Jr quite well and should help him get back on track. His skill set as a hitting coach matches up with what the Brewers need to do to improve this offense.
Opposing evaluators raved about the versatile approach the Sox employed under Hyers, who was viewed as a standout both in discussing swing mechanics and dissecting opposing pitchers’ plans of attack.
Hyers, at the behest of J.D. Martinez, started holding daily hitters’ meetings in 2018 in which position players and coaches would get together prior to every game to break down the opposing starter. It was a setting that members of a detail-oriented team came to view as a significant contributor to the franchise-record win total and 2018 championship.
Under Andy Haines, the Brewers occasionally seemed to have no plan to counter what opposing pitchers would bring, especially in Games 2 and 3 of the NLDS when they were shut out.
If Hyers can bring those daily hitters’ meetings, dissections of pitchers’ plans of attack, and the ability to identify pitches to drive and not hit balls on the ground, this Brewers offense can reach new heights.
This offense could finally be able to support a dominant pitching staff that could take them far in October, but they still need to score runs to win. Bringing in the hitting coach who’s offense led the league in runs per game over the last four years would be amazing start to that.
As soon as Hyers became available, the Brewers should’ve immediately called him and tried to set up an interview. Perhaps they already have. But he should be their top target in this search.