The Cincinnati Reds have a new hitting coach. Alan Zinter will take over for Turner Ward and assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker was promoted.
Alan Zinter, who spent the last two seasons as the assistant director of player development for the San Francisco Giants, will take over for the departed Turner Ward as the Cincinnati Reds hitting coach. Hopefully Zinter will get better results than Ward did last season, as the Reds finished near the bottom of the National League in several offensive categories.
Ward and the Reds parted ways shortly after the season. A lot of fans assumed that Ward would have similar success in Cincinnati that he did in his stay with last year’s NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. That was not the case, as the Reds struggled to score runs throughout the entire season.
The Cincinnati Reds ranked 10th in slugging, 11th in OPS, 12th in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored and RBIs, 13th in total hits and 14th in doubles. The only category that the Reds actually made a decent showing was in home runs, where the team finished 7th in the National League with 227 round trippers.
Zinter is no stranger to the position he’ll be filling on David Bell‘s staff. The 51-year-old was the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres in 2016-17, the assistant hitting coach for the Houston Astros in 2015 and a minor league hitting coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for four years.
In addition to adding Zinter to the staff, the Cincinnati Reds also gave a promotion to Donnie Ecker, last year’s assistant hitting coach who was credited with helping rookie slugger Aristides Aquino to his record-breaking month of August. Ecker will add the title of Director of Hitting to his resumé.
If the Reds want to break through in 2020, improving the hitting has to be at or near the top. With a solid rotation and quality bullpen in place, the Reds are hopeful that Zinter can have the same type of effect on the hitting side that Derek Johnson did with the team’s pitching last season.