Former Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell will begin his tenure as the club’s hitting coach on Thursday night, as Houston opens the second half of the 2010 season with a series against the Pirates. Alyson Footer, who works for the team as senior director of social media, passes along this photo.
Bagwell looks like he could strap up the cleats and hit a few out of Pittsburgh’s PNC Park tonight, but that is not his mission. The 42-year-old will try his best to help the Astros climb out of Major League Baseball’s offensive cellar.
Entering the All-Star break, the Astros ranked 28th in the league in runs scored, 29th in batting average, 29th in slugging percentage and tied for dead last in home runs with 57. Bagwell, of course, was known for hitting dingers during his 15-year professional career and will try to pass along some knowledge.
Of course, it can be debated whether or not a hitting coach has any impact on the performance of athletes who have been playing the game at the highest level for years. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, for one, thinks the Bagwell hire was all part of a lame public relations ploy and that former batting coach Sean Berry should have never been dumped from his post.