Bob Melvin is bringing former SF Giants Matt Williams and Pat Burrell back with him to the bay. Williams joins the staff as third base and Burrell takes over as the new hitting coach. Like Melvin, Williams comes with over a decade of coaching and managerial experience; including a Manager of the Year award in 2014.
The SF Giants are getting the band back together with the new coaching staff
Melvin holds three Manager of the Year awards himself, but his connections to Williams extend further than individual accolades. Aside from coaching on Melvin’s staff in San Diego over the last two seasons and in Oakland prior to that, Williams won it all as a player for Arizona in 2001 where Melvin served as bench coach.
Giants fans are very familiar with Burrell's winning pedigree. He and a band of misfits helped to bring San Francisco their first World Series title in 2010. Stepping into his first coaching role on a major league staff, Burrell will be assisted in hitting coach duties by Justin Viele and Pedro Guerrero who are returning to the staff.
Prior to joining Melvin's Oakland coaching staff in 2017, Williams spent multiple years coaching in Arizona before he was hired to manage the Washington Nationals. In his first career season as manager, Williams led Washington to a 96-66 record, good enough for first place in the NL East. Williams finished his time in Washington with a .552 winning percentage, continuing to prove himself to be a winner.
New as coaching may be for Burrell, he brings with him an old school demeanor that begs for choked-up bats, base hits and opposite-field drives. The Golden Spikes Award winner is cut from a cloth similar to Giants legends like Will Clark and Rod Beck. With a reminiscent, hard-nosed scowl, “Pat the Bat” sets to usher in a Giants era where the past meets present-day head on.
Burrell resides in a place where batting averages still matter and he's set to join juggernauts from an era of baseball that feels extinct. However, injecting the clubhouse with baseball's gritty soul won't be all it takes to be successful in today's game. There's no way it's all launch angles and defensive shifts, either. Is Melvin's crew of characters, loaded with California cast-offs, set to bring gold back to the city of champions?
By combining new-age analytics with the pillars of baseball’s past, might this Giants staff invoke the interest of free agents like Shohei Ohtani or Yoshinobu Yamamoto. With the coaching staff and front office now fully assembled, the Winter Meetings lurk just two weeks ahead. While optimism and mystery flood the forecast of MLB’s Winter Meetings, the Giants and their fans can only hope that this December is much different from last year's comedy of misses.