The Marlins have hired Brant Brown as their new hitting coach, as per SportsGrid’s Craig Mish (Twitter link). Brown was one of the Dodgers’ two hitting coaches, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter) reported earlier today that Miami was looking at Brown as the newest member of its staff.
Under new manager Skip Schumaker, the Marlins’ coaching staff will naturally look quite different in 2023. Brown replaces Marcus Thames (who was hired by the Angels) in the hitting coach position, while Luis Urueta is the new bench, Jon Jay is the new first base coach, Jody Reed is the new third base coach, and Rod Barajas is joining the staff as a quality assurance coach. Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. is staying put, after signing a new multi-year deal back in October.
This isn’t Brown’s first time in a Marlins uniform, as he played 41 games for the Fish back in 2000. Brown played at the MLB level with the Marlins, Pirates, and (mostly) Cubs over five seasons, and then began his coaching career in 2007. After a decade as a coach in the Rangers’ and Mariners’ farm system, Brown’s first MLB coaching assignment came prior to the 2018 season, when he joined the Dodgers as an assistant hitting coach. While some of the specifics of Brown’s title have changed, he and Robert Van Scoyoc have shared the hitting coach duties since 2019.
A powerful and versatile lineup has been one of the keys to the Dodgers’ recent success, but the 51-year-old Brown will now face a new challenge in trying to jumpstart Miami’s lineup. The Marlins have one of baseball’s more enviable cores of young pitching, yet the team has been unable to pair that pitching with even average offense. The additions of Jorge Soler, Avisail Garcia, Jacob Stallings, and Joey Wendle last offseason didn’t help matters, and the Marlins are now hoping to have more of a focus on speed and contact hitting heading into 2023.
It remains to be seen how the Dodgers will replace Brown on the coaching staff, but Rosenthal cites assistant coach Aaron Bates as a logical candidate for a promotion, if L.A. sticks to the dual-hitting coach approach. Bates has been the Dodgers’ assistant hitting coach for the last four seasons, and previously worked as a coach and coordinator from 2015-18 in the Dodgers’ minor league system.