Dave Magadan’s Addition to Rangers’ Staff Bound to Improve Hitting With or Without Josh Hamilton

by NESN Staff

October 20, 2012

Dave Magadan's Addition to Rangers' Staff Bound to Improve Hitting With or Without Josh HamiltonAfter six seasons with the Red Sox, Dave Magadan has moved on.

On the heels of Bobby Valentine's firing, the hitting coach accepted the same position with the Rangers on Friday night. And his addition to the Texas coaching staff is bound to improve the club's hitting.

Under his tutelage, the Red Sox evolved into one of the most feared lineups in the majors. Even without David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez at different points in the 2012 season, Boston still finished eighth in runs in the majors.

With Magadan in his ear, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia finally developed a power stroke, blasting 25 long balls this year.

Earlier in the season, outfielder Cody Ross attributed his rejuvenation at the plate to Magadan's guidance. In 130 games, Ross wound up finishing with 81 RBIs and 22 home runs ?? two shy of his career high.

"In short a period of time I've been with him, he's been unbelievable — probably the best hitting coach I've ever had," Ross said back in April.

"He's very prepared, just outstanding, just great to be able to lean on when you need advice or someone needs to pat you on the back, saying, 'Keep going. Things are going to come.' It's definitely nice to have."

With or without Josh Hamilton, Magadan will work a loaded lineup. Last season, the Rangers were first in the AL in runs (808), fourth in home runs (200), third in on-base percentage (.334) and second in slugging (.446).

Magadan is already accustomed to working with superstar personalities in Boston, so tutoring standouts such as Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young should prove to be an easy transition in Texas.

On the flip side, Kinsler and Cruz — who are each coming off sub-par seasons — will certainly respect Magadan, who has a World Series ring and has been a hitting coach since retiring in 2001.

During his time with the Red Sox, the 50-year-old preached the importance of grinding out at-bats. His reputation, highlighted by his communication with players, should aid the Rangers, who hit just .228 over the last 13 games of the regular season.

He'll also have an established rapport with Rangers manager Ron Washington, who managed him in 1997 and 1998 in Oakland. Given the rotating door with the managerial job in Boston, a dose of stability in Texas will prove for a better atmosphere.

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