Analyzing St. Louis Cardinals' 4 hitting coaches since 2010

Let's take a look at the last 4 hitting coaches for the St. Louis Cardinals.
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When things go wrong for a baseball team, blame is cast in a variety of directions. Sometimes the owner is blamed for not spending enough. Other times the manager takes on the onus of blame. The coaches of a particular group could receive some flak. The players, however, are often the last to be blamed on the whole.

Recent narratives surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals have revolved around the team's inability to hit. Most of this malice has been aimed at the team's hitting coach, Turner Ward. For better or worse, the team's lackluster offensive output has been pinned on their hitting coach. But have Ward's philosophies and actions actually led to a lesser offensive team?

It's important to remember when comparing statistics how drastically the game has changed. Batting average is valued differently, strikeouts have increased across the league in the last 15 years, and power numbers were boosted in certain seasons, 2019 in particular. However, certain stats such as runs per game can be valued similarly across the span of time.

Furthermore, it's easy to evaluate a team's overall rank compared to other teams in the league. Perhaps a team's batting average decreased over a certain period of time, but they could have remained at the top of their league.

I wanted to take a deeper look at the last 4 hitting coaches for the St. Louis Cardinals--Mark Budaska, who only coached for 3 months in 2018, the 2020 season, and 2024 excluded. I compiled statistics for Mark McGwire, John Mabry, Jeff Albert, and Turner Ward to see how each stacked up against the other. I also did some digging to find what those coaches' general hitting philosophies were and how those ideologies affected overall team performance.

Some figures were surprising, and it was interesting to see how certain coaches leaned into trends in the sport. One noteworthy statistic was how the team's average age mostly decreased as time went on. McGwire had the oldest average lineup during his time at the helm, and Turner Ward had the youngest lineup last year. Take that however you want.

Here's a deep dive into the last 4 hitting coaches for the Cardinals by analyzing their teams' results and their philosophies.