The Padres are hiring Michael Brdar as hitting coach, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (Twitter link). Robert Murray of FanSided reported earlier in the evening that San Diego had targeted Brdar as a candidate.
Brdar, rather incredibly, lands a big league hitting coach job at just 27 years of age. An infielder at the University of Michigan during his playing days, his professional career consisted of just 31 games with the Cardinals’ rookie ball affiliate in 2017. Brdar clearly impressed those around the game with his communication skills and understanding of the craft, though. After his playing days wrapped up, he spent a couple seasons on the Michigan coaching staff before taking over as the Giants’ minor league hitting coordinator.
That rapid ascent will continue with Brdar landing his first job on a big league staff. He’ll lead a Padres’ offensive core that’s among the most talented in the league but didn’t quite live up its to potential in 2021. San Diego hitters (excluding pitchers) posted a .249/.330/.413 line this past season. After accounting for their pitcher-friendly home park, that checked in about three percentage points above the league average, but it was still just 12th among the league’s 30 teams. For a Padres team entered the year with legitimate World Series aspirations, that registered as something of a disappointment.
There’s been plenty of turnover on the San Diego coaching staff, none more notable than the ousting of manager Jayce Tingler. Veteran skipper Bob Melvin came over from the A’s to assume the managerial role in San Diego, and Tingler’s staff was given the opportunity to explore other positions elsewhere. Damion Easley — who has spent the past two seasons as Friars’ hitting coach — is expected to depart the organization to become the Diamondbacks’ assistant hitting coach, reports Dennis Lin of the Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll work alongside incoming Arizona hitting coach Joe Mather.