The baseball lockout feels like it could be coming to a close in the near future, but teams are still looking at ways to improve their organization. On Monday, it was announced that longtime SF Giants coach Hensley Meulens has been named an assistant hitting coach for the New York Yankees, per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.
Longtime SF Giants coach finds familiar role with the Yankees
This will be familiar turf for the 54-year-old coach as he spent the bulk of his playing career in a Yankees uniform. The right-handed bat and versatile infielder spent five of his seven seasons in pinstripes beginning in 1988. He latched on with the Montreal Expos in 1997 and finished his major league career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the following season.
Meulens continued to play professionally before hanging up his spikes for good after the 2002 season. After spending over 15 seasons in professional baseball, Meulens quickly transitioned into a coaching role, beginning with a stint with the Bluefield Orioles in 2003.
In 2005, he agreed to become the next hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate and served in that role over the next four seasons. In an opportunistic move, the Giants swayed Meulens away from the Pirates organization in a lateral move to join the Fresno Grizzlies in 2009.
He only spent one season with Fresno as he succeed Carney Lansford as the Giants hitting coach following the 2009 season. The hitting coach is often a thankless job that gets unnecessary criticism when the team struggles and little recognition when the team thrives.
With that being said, Meulens' run as the Giants' hitting coach was likely one of the underrated aspects of the championship run. San Francisco did not boast a premium offense during his tenure, but the lineup often flourished with situational hitting.
The longtime Giants coach became the bench coach after the 2017 season as manager Bruce Bochy shuffled around his coaching staff. He remained in that role until Bochy's retirement at the end of the 2019 season.
In 2020, Meulens was hired as the New York Mets bench coach by Luis Rojas but he was replaced after just one season. For years, Meulens was considered a promising managerial candidate but he is still waiting for his first head skipper gig.
He was the runner-up to Aaron Boone when the Yankees had a coaching vacancy, but now he joins Boone's staff. Meulens has always been known as an excellent communicator, especially considering that he can speak five languages. The Yankees are adding a fantastic baseball coach to the organization, and hopefully, this helps Meulens finally land a head coaching gig.