The Twins possess employed David Popkins as their new hitting coach, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman stories (through Twitter). Popkins will capture over for Edgar Varela, who turned into reassigned from the region earlier this month.
Popkins has labored in the Dodgers’ minor league machine for the final three years, in conjunction with working this previous season as the hitting coach for high-A ball Vast Lakes Loons. This represents the excellent tier of Popkins’ instructing ride, though as teams possess increasingly regarded to enhance the scope of instructing hires, prior ride on a huge league workers or even in the upper minors is now not the prerequisite it as soon as turned into.
Popkins also brings a extra energizing level of view to the combo, as he doesn’t turn 32 years extinct except subsequent month and isn’t a long way a long way off from his possess playing days. An undrafted free agent, Popkins caught on with the Cardinals and played in their farm machine for 3 seasons, reaching as high as the Double-A stage in 2014. He then went onto play three seasons of honest ball earlier than calling it a wrap on his on-arena career.
The Minnesota lineup lacked consistency in 2021, as while hitters combined for a relatively above-average 101 wRC+ (ranking 11th in baseball), the personnel’s overall .241/.314/.423 left one thing to be desired. Overall, the Twins restful showed quite a lot of vitality in finishing fifth in the league in home runs, nonetheless completed around the center of the league in several varied offensive categories. Getting extra out of Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, and Trevor Larnach might maybe perchance be the high priority on Popkins’ checklist, though the Twins even possess some very dangerous bats in Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson, and (when healthy) Byron Buxton.
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