Why the Cubs out-of-the-box hire for hitting coach might just work

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The Chicago Cubs raised eyebrows by hiring Greg Brown as their new hitting coach. Here’s why that move makes sense.

Brown was the former minor-league hitting coordinator in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. The Rays have among the most highly-regarded minor league systems in baseball, so the fit is there given new general manager Carter Hawkins’ emphasis on scouting and building from within.

Jed Hoyer and the Cubs haven’t ruled out a major move this offseason, but it would be a surprise given their decision-making thus far. Adding Hawkins to the front office, and now Brown as the hitting coach, suggests a transition to player development, rather than big-spending tactics of old.

And when you look at the talent the Cubs have to offer, it makes sense.

Cubs: Who is Greg Brown?

Brown reportedly got ‘high marks’ in his communication skills, per The Athletic. He has everything the Cubs would want in a hitting coach, assuming his skills translate to the major league level.

Before his time with the Rays, Brown was a scout with the Houston Astros, where he signed Kiké Hernandez and J.D. Martinez out of the South Florida/Puerto Rico jurisdiction.

Chicago was among the worst teams at the plate in baseball last season, ranking 26th in team batting average. Brown doesn’t have a high bar to reach to surpass those expectations, but if the Cubs are to have any sort of success in 2021, they’ll need exponential growth from the likes of Nick Madrigal and others.

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