Padres Name Former Friar Mark Kotsay Hitting Coach
By Billy Brost
The San Diego Padres have announced that former outfielder and first baseman, Mark Kotsay has been named the team’s new hitting coach. Kotsay replaces former Friar Phil Plantier, who was dismissed shortly after the conclusion of the regular season. Kotsay recently retired at the end of 2013, and spent all of last season working in the Padres front office as a special assistant to the general manager.
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In two tours of duty with the Padres, the 39-year-old Kotsay compiled a .273 batting average, with 37 home runs, 183 runs batted in, and 230 runs scored. His biggest season came back in 2002, when he hit .292 with 17 long balls. As a result, he was given the Chairman’s Award, given to the Padres player or coach that best exemplifies the spirit of San Diego. Kotsay was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1995 College World Series, leading Cal State Fullerton to success. He also won college baseball’s version of the Heisman Trophy, the Golden Spikes Award during that 1995 season.
Kotsay will join assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell on Bud Black‘s staff, accepting his first formal coaching role since retiring after 17 big league seasons where he spent time with the Marlins, Padres, A’s, Braves, Red Sox, White Sox, and Brewers. He was selected 9th overall in the 1996 draft. Congrats to Kotsay and here’s to hoping for a major turnaround at the plate for the Padres in 2015.