Know Yankees’ new hitting coach Sean Casey by his numbers

Ex-Red Sean Casey is hired as the Yankees hitting coach.

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After firing the hitting coach Dillon Lawson on Sunday, July 9, the New York Yankees announced the hiring of former MLB First Baseman Sean Casey on Monday 10th. The numbers that define the career of the new hitting coach make him a perfect choice for the Yankees.

This decision was taken by the New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman after evaluating the team’s offensive performance in the first half of the current season. The problem that the New York Yankees are dealing with is poor execution in terms of hitting as the team’s statistics ranks: 231 AVG is 28th among the 30 teams in the MLB; 9.6 WAR is 18th overall, .300 OBP is 27th overall, 0.308 wOBA is 24th overall.

Sean Casey, a seasoned veteran of twelve seasons in the major leagues, showcased his finest performances while donning the Cincinnati Reds uniform. Throughout his career, Sean Casey consistently displayed exceptional batting skills, earning him three top-ten finishes in the league in batting average. He recorded 100-plus runs scored twice and came tantalizingly close to 100-plus RBIs, achieving 99 RBI on two separate occasions. These impressive batting abilities resulted in Sean Casey being selected to three All-Star Teams in 1999, 2001, and 2004.

Following his retirement from professional baseball, Sean Casey transitioned into a role as a Studio Analyst with the MLB Network, leveraging his deep knowledge and insights to contribute to the understanding and analysis of the game.

Why did the Yankees select Sean Casey?

Some might be wondering why choosing him, a former player with no coaching experience, for a role that has been so questioned and criticized since last year’s postseason-ending series against the Houston Astros. Well, let’s take a look at some of the reasons to consider why Sean Casey is the person in charge of such a critical job for the Yankees and help them navigate challenges in the second half.

What better than the numbers to speak on his behalf? So, let’s start with his basic statistics:

His career statistics highlighted in the table displays some batting categories he remarked over the course of his career. The important thing about it is that if he’s able to instruct the Yankees’ players on how to execute establishing similar numbers to those, definitely the New York Yankees will have a huge offensive improvement.

These are some of the rankings he was able to reach in his prime and a reason to take him into consideration for this role in the franchise, besides his recent work in the MLB Network that must have helped him develop an insightful and most analytical approach to the game and the proper way to communicate it.

The following image shows the range on the field he was able direct the batted balls put into play. It displays his capacity to hit the ball to virtually any side of the field.

Time to compare the first-half batting stats of the New York Yankees with the stats Sean Casey was able to sustain in terms of Plate Discipline throughout his career, as the following tables show:

Analyzing those numbers it’s obvious that Sean Casey was very disciplined as his frequency of swings at pitches outside the zone (O-Swing% = 22.7 %) is lower than the Yankees team’s current rate (Chase % = 28.1 %). He also made more contact when swinging at outside pitches. His O-Contact rate (70.5%) is higher than the Yanks’ chase contact percentage (56.5 %). The difference reflects a capacity to keep composure when facing pitching strategies that focus on keeping the batters concerned about the pitches (especially breaking balls) thrown to the edges and outside the zone.

Moreover, Sean Casey’s ability to swing at balls close in the zone (Z-Swing% = 67.5 %) is higher than that of the Yankees (Zone Swing % = 65.1 %) and his contact made on those pitches is also better than the Yankees. Therefore, Sean Casey was more perceptive and aware of pitches located in that area used to shake the balance of the batters or make the at-bat more competitive and challenging.

An asset to the Yankees

In conclusion, if Sean Casey is able to guide and use the right mentorship approach to the Yankee players the results will guarantee a good spot in the Power Rankings and even could be a Championship contender, considering that besides the lack of hitting success, the New York Yankees have .585 winning percentage with a record of 49-42. Never forget the slugging factor that the New York Yankees’ 23.16 AB/HR (Home Runs per at-bat) is ranked 5th overall.

Batting is not only a thing to consider the hitting ability. The mindset to keep focused when facing a pitcher’s arsenal and his strategy is equally important. For somebody nicknamed “The Mayor” for his reputation for chatting with anyone, who landed on first base, plus his time on MLB Network, it shouldn’t be difficult to familiarize himself with the players and create an appropriate and convenient coaching environment.

What do you think about Sean Casey? Leave your comment below.

(Stats sourced from Source: Baseball Reference and FanGraphs)

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