Will the Reds look to their minor leagues to replace hitting coach Alan Zinter?

Cincinnati Reds hitting coach Daryle Ward during batting practice.
Cincinnati Reds hitting coach Daryle Ward during batting practice. / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds dismissed five members of the 2022 coaching staff earlier this week. Among those who won't return in 2023 is hitting coach Alan Zinter.

Zinter was hired to replace Turner Ward after the 2019 season, but after the Reds finished 13th in the National League in OPS and 10th in batting average, the front office felt a new voice was needed heading into next season.

There are any number of coaches and former players that could fill that role heading into 2023, but perhaps the Cincinnati Reds should look within the organization to solve the problem.

Might the Reds sign Daryle Ward to replace Alan Zinter?

The Dayton Dragons were one of the most exciting minor league teams to watch this season. Dayton ranked first in the Midwest League in slugging percentage and fifth in OPS. The man at the helm in the Dragons was Bryan LaHair and Dayton's hitting coach is former major leaguer Daryle Ward.

Ward played 11 years in the bigs and played for six different franchises, including the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates. Ward has been part of the Cincinnati Reds organization since 2016 when he was a coach for the AZL Reds.

Ward was the Dragons hitting coach from 2017-2018, and then joined the Chattanooga Lookouts coaching staff in 2019. Ward returned to coach the Dayton Dragons in 2021 and resumed his role as hitting coach once again this past season.

While the Dragons led the Midwest League in slugging, they also led the league in strikeouts and were ranked last in the league in on-base percentage. In short, it would seem that the Dragons' lineup was swinging for the fences early and often.

That said, Ward was able to work with some of the Reds young talent like Alan Cerda, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Noelvi Marte. Might Daryle Ward get the chance to work with some of the Cincinnati Reds major league talent in 2023?

Next. Elly De La Cruz should begin 2023 at Double-A Chattanooga. dark