The Cubs on Monday announced the hiring of Johnny Washington as their new assistant hitting coach. He’ll work closely with newly hired hitting coach Greg Brown as the Cubs retool their big league staff and their general offensive approach. The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reported a month ago that Washington was finalizing a deal to become the team’s new hitting coach, but the move was not made official until today.
Washington, 37, spent five years with the Padres organization before serving as the hitting coach for the Korea Baseball Organization’s Hanwha Eagles in 2021. With San Diego, he first worked as a minor league hitting coach before eventually serving as the team’s first base coach (2017), assistant hitting coach (2018), hitting coach (2019) and then overall director of minor league hitting (2020). Washington also spent several seasons as a minor league hitting coach with the Dodgers (2009-15) and interviewed for the Angels’ managerial vacancy before the Halos hired Joe Maddon.
A 2003 draft pick by the Rangers, Washington had a seven-year minor league playing career and spent another two years playing in the independent Frontier League. Cubs bench coach Andy Green knows Washington quite well, as Green was the skipper in San Diego both when Washington was first hired and when he first joined the Major League coaching staff.
The combination of Brown and Washington will give Cubs hitters a pair of new voices; hitting coach Anthony Iapoce was dismissed following the completion of the 2021 season, while assistant hitting coach Chris Valaika was hired to serve as the Guardians’ new hitting coach.