Cleat Geeks

All-Time HR King Barry Bonds Becomes Marlins’ Hitting Coach


barry-bonds-ap2After a few days of speculation and just a couple of contract details left to get through, Barry Bonds has joined the Marlins’ coaching staff as one of their two hitting coaches. Barry Bonds is the homerun leader in MLB history with 762 dingers. Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria has built a nice relationship with Bonds over the last several years. Bonds, known just as much for his PED controversy as his freak of nature performance at the plate, began this new chapter of coaching with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are the team he spent most of his career with which his dad, Bobby, along with the legendary Willie Mays, also played for.


barryHe served as a spring training hitting instructor on the Giants’ ballclub in 2014 and 2015. His reputation as a terrific hitting mentor began to spread everywhere around the game. This wasn’t only because of his two spring assignments but also due to the feedback from Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and Cubs’ outfielder Dexter Fowler who have trained under Barry Bonds. Throughout his career, Barry Bonds was easily the most intimidating figure at the plate thanks to his size and presence and also his ability to hit any type of pitch at any velocity way out of any part of the ballpark for a mammoth homerun. He possesses some of, if not the greatest, offensive numbers in baseball history. They include a whopping career .444 on base percentage, 2,558 walks and 688 intentional walks. As a feared hitter, his intentional walks total is absurd. Just in 2004 alone, he was walked intentionally 120 times. Managers, catcher and pitchers wanted no part of Bonds. His at bats seemed to have come down to one of three results: get intentionally walked, draw a walk, and last but not least, get pitched around and run into a pitch that he jumps all over to hit out of the park.


Barry Bond Attends San Francisco Giants Camp as a Spring Training InstructorBarry Bonds’ on the field legacy became one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game in terms of power, plate discipline, pitch recognition and contact. The Marlins have now become the first team to hire Bonds to a full time coaching staff. Many writers, analysts and team personnel members around the league view this as a move that can prove to be very wise for the Marlins. As long as Barry Bonds has the desire to go through the grinds of a 162 game season as a hitting coach who will spend long hours before and after each game working, this will pay off. The Marlins, a talented team with plenty of young hitters, are excited and proud about this hiring. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, Justin Bour and others now have the opportunity to receive instructing and mentoring from one of the all-time greats in the two facets of hitting: technical and mental.

Giancarlo-StantonMark McGwire, another historic home run slugger who has been part of PED controversy, became hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010 in which he felt obligated to publicly admit and apologize for steroid use. Since then, he has also been the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers and will now serve as the bench coach for the San Diego Padres. Bonds is not expected to admit anything but there will be a lot of media attention at the Marlins’ Jupiter spring training site this upcoming March. Once the first couple of days and weeks pass, the media storm will be expected to die down and Bonds can then fully focus on performing the tasks of a hitting coach with the players behind the scenes (although it’s a little hard at first to associate subtlety with Barry Bonds). The Marlins are confident that such an outstanding and skilled hitter can translate his knowledge into the success of a young and very capable team expected to make noise in the NL East.


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