It always felt like longtime SF Giants coach Hensley Meulens was destined to be a major league skipper. He had been interviewed in the past, but was often overlooked. His shot might still come as he remains in demand by organizations. On Monday, Robert Murray of FanSided confirmed that the Colorado Rockies have hired Meulens to be their next hitting coach.
Colorado Rockies add longtime SF Giants coach to staff
Meulens returns to a role that he is very familiar with and in a division where he has plenty of experience. The 55-year-old was originally hired by the Giants to replace previous hitting coach Carney Lansford after the 2009 season.
During his tenure as hitting coach, the Giants were never known as an offensive juggernaut but it was a lineup full of professional hitters. Whether that was a product of the coaching staff or the roster is up for debate, but it felt like San Francisco's hitters lost something when he was promoted to be the team's bench coach after the 2017 season.
The idea behind this was to give the longtime hitting coach a chance to grow in a role that often works closely with the manager. At one point, there was some speculation that Meulens wuld succeed Bruce Bochy as the Giants' manager.
That never came to fruition as Meulens was not retained when Gabe Kapler took over as the team's manager. Kapler did not retain any of the coaches from the prior regime with the exception of Ron Wotus, who remained as third base coach.
Meulens is a baseball lifer and continued to find coaching opportunities. He served as bench coach for the New York Mets during a tumultuous 2020 season but his contract was not renewed. He did not travel far as he was scooped up by the other team in New York to work as an assistant hitting coach.
Meulens played for the Yankees for five seasons during his playing career, so it was a return to familiar territory. However, he will return to the NL West with the Rockies and try to help a team that struggled to the tune of an 86 wRC+ last year.
Health will go a long way in helping Colorado as power-hitting outfielder Kris Bryant missed much of the season. They will need a lot of things to go right to turn that offense around, but they have the right personnel in place with Meulens.