The Angels have promoted Jeremy Reed to the major-league staff and named him new manager Brad Ausmus’ hitting coach.
Reed, who has served the last two seasons as the Angels’ minor-league hitting coordinator, replaces Eric Hinske.
Reed and pitching coach Doug White are the only confirmed new members of Ausmus’ staff, which will be announced by the Angels once it is assembled in its entirety.
In his only season as Angels hitting coach, Hinske oversaw an offense that ranked seventh in home runs (214) but struggled to produce in other categories. The Angels’ on-base percentage of .313 ranked 20th in baseball and contributed to a middling 721 runs scored, which was 15th in the major leagues.
“A lot of solo home runs,” general manager Billy Eppler said at the end of the 2018 season. “We need to be on base. It is the only statistic that correlates with run scoring.”
Before becoming part of the Angels’ player development staff, Reed was a major-league outfielder from 2003 to 2011 and later was a minor-league hitting coordinator for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2014 to 2016.
Reed, 37, graduated from Bonita High School in La Verne and was a second-round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox out of Long Beach State in 2002. He ranked as the White Sox’s top prospect after leading the minors with a .373 average and .453 on-base percentage in 2003.
Reed was traded to the Mariners and made his major-league debut in Seattle in 2004, but never hit at a prolific level in the majors. He batted .252 with a .309 on-base percentage and hit 67 doubles, 12 triples and 12 home runs in an eight-year career that took him from Seattle to the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays and Brewers.
However, Reed has been credited often by Angels hitters for helping them rework their swings. Outfielder Kole Calhoun told the Ringer in August that Reed and Angels assistant hitting coordinator Shawn Wooten helped him find a solution to problems with his posture, part of which were caused by an oblique muscle strain that sidelined Calhoun in early June. The change in stance allowed Calhoun to get more power out of his swing after starting the 2018 season with a .374 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage through May. Calhoun posted a 1.018 OPS in 35 games from June 18 to July 31. He ended the season with a .652 OPS.