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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Mark McGwire (2010-2012)


McGwire's philosophy is based on what he learned from his hitting coach with the Oakland Athletics, Doug Rader. According to a New York Times article from 2011, "The McGwire philosophy can be summed up in three sentences. See the ball. Only swing at pitches you can handle. And use your head."

McGwire tried to remind players that certain pitches cannot be hit; the best approach is to avoid those pitches and focus rather on the ones that are in your wheelhouse as a hitter. This approach is evidenced by the fact that McGwire's teams were often in the top 5 of the National League in walk rate during his tenure.

Overall, teams led by Mark McGwire had plenty of success. He led a top-5 offense in each of his three seasons. Having players like Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols surely helps.


Mark McGwire's teams were consistently in the top half of the National League on the offensive side during his tenure. His 2011 team--the World Series winning group--was the best offensive team according to team on-base plus slugging percentage and runs scored. They were also the most veteran of the staffs with an average age of 29.3 years old.

The average OPS for teams under McGwire's leadership was .753, the average batting average was .269, average runs per game was 4.65 runs, and average strikeouts were 6.58 K's per game. Batting average was valued much differently in the early 2010s than it is today, and strikeouts weren't as premium, so both of those stats are tough to compare to today.

Runs per game and OPS, however, have remained largely consistent across baseball. Comparing team performance to other teams in the league is helpful as well. McGwire's teams were among the best in the National League at the time, and their marks have stood the test of time to this day.