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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John Mabry (2013-July 2018)


A former player for the St. Louis Cardinals, John Mabry was hired to fill the void left by Mark McGwire when he moved west to coach for the San Diego Padres. Teams under Mabry's leadership were still among the best in the National League according to OPS and runs scored, but there were some clunkers of seasons, namely 2015. That year, the team ranked 8th in OPS and 11th in runs scored.

Mabry's philosophy comes from his years in the Cardinals' organization; George Kissell's fingerprints are all over John Mabry's approach to hitting. Despite an increase in analytics and technology during Mabry's tenure, he remained true to the old way of teaching hitting. Rob Rains of KSDK wrote in 2018 that Mabry "preaches patience and confidence to his hitters. He sees the big picture."

The Cardinals remained a great team when it came to taking walks from 2013-2018, never falling out of the top half in the National League. Where they faltered, however, is in runs scored. In an era where home runs became the way, Mabry struggled to catch up to that approach in his first three years as the hitting coach.


The results are slightly mixed for Mabry; his low point may have come in 2014, a year where the team had a sub-.700 OPS and failed to score more than 4 runs in a game. That is partially on Mabry and partially on roster construction/injuries. It's possible the 2013 team played as well as it did (2nd in OPS and 1st in runs scored) thanks to leftovers from Mark McGwire's tenure.

Conversely, the 2016 team was stellar offensively. They had the second-most runs scored out of any year in this exercise at 4.81, and their team OPS of .767 was the greatest in any season. These results happen to coincide with an increase in "juiced" balls, so take that however you want.

Batting averages across the league began to decrease, and strikeouts were rising just as rapidly. Mabry appeared to lean into both of those trends, as teams under his leadership had a significantly lower batting average and greater strikeout rate.

Overall, Mabry's tenure is speckled with inconsistency while still maintaining an offense near the top of the National League.