New Cubs hitting coach John Mallee could be the perfect fit


The Chicago Cubs have a new hitting coach in town.

Shortly after Bill Mueller resigned as the Chicago Cubs’ hitting coach following his first year with the organization, the North Siders replaced him with John Mallee, a guy who has all sorts of connections with the city of Chicago. And when looking at things from a statistical point of view, he appears to be a perfect fit for what the Cubs are trying to build on their Major League roster.

For one, his passion regarding the organization is something that has spanned his entire life.

"“The team interviewed me for the minor league coordinator position, and I took the job,” Mallee told Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago recently. “I also had a chance to be the Yankees coordinator and turned it down. I wanted to be a Cub. I told my dad 20 years ago I would coach for the Cubs one day. The paperwork was getting done when the Astros and Indians both asked for permission to interview me for the big league hitting job. I went with Houston. The Cubs’ Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were all great about it.  That is where this all started.”"

Mallee, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 10th round of the 1991 amateur draft out of the University of Illinois  has experience as a hitting coach, as he has been in that role – in some capacity – since 2010. He previously worked with the Miami Marlins as the organization’s minor league hitting coach, as well as the big league hitting coach, and most recently the Houston Astros. Mallee, a native of the southeast side of Chicago, will join the Cubs and will be coupled with Eric Hinske, who moves from first base and outfield coach to assistant hitting coach for 2015.

Based on his tenure with Houston, Mallee appears to be very successful working with young players. He obviously built a rapport with Jose Altuve – who’s coming off a MLB-high 225-hit season and a .341 BA that topped the American League – and he seems to be good in teaching his players how to get walks as the Astros finished 12th in all baseball in that department despite ranking in the bottom part of all the major offensive statistics.

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The Cubs have some very talented hitters in their roster – most notably Starlin Castro, Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo – but they also have some young players that need help to be successful at the MLB level like Javier Baez and to a lesser degree, Arismendy Alcantara. If Mallee is able to get the best of them while also teaching them how to walk every now and then, the Cubs’ offense could be a much improved unit for the 2015 season.

"“Players don’t care how much you know. They first want to know how much you care. My job is to get them ready at seven o’clock to attack the opposing starter and their bullpen. Whatever it takes to get that done, I have to make sure I do that. My work the night before, looking at all the at-bats determines my readiness to help each guy have a fresh plan of attack that next day.”"