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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Turner Ward (2023-Present)

Philosophy

Turner Ward was Oliver Marmol's choice to be the hitting coach in Marmol's first full season. He was brought back in 2024 for the same position. It's tough to include results from 2024, as the season is only 10% complete, so we will evaluate Ward on last year alone.

Before becoming the Cardinals' hitting coach, Ward was an assistant hitting coach for them in 2022 along with being Paul Goldschmidt's preferred coach. Oliver Marmol spoke of Ward's presence and connection with the players soon after his promotion by saying "He’s living and dying with every pitch and he’s experiencing it as if he’s in the box. And when they get back to the dugout -- good or bad [result] -- they know he’s got their back."

There are two primary aspects to Ward's coaching style: get on base and score runs (duh). Ward has taken less of an analytical approach than his predecessor did, and that has led to the Cardinals rising back up in batting average and limiting strikeouts per game. The team also did a good job at drawing walks last year.

Results

The results of Ward's more antiquated approach led the Cardinals to being largely in the middle of the pack among National League teams offensively last year. They were 6th in OPS, 10th in runs per game, 4th in walks per game, and 5th in total home runs.

Extra base hits were hard to come by last year for the Cardinals, and that stands in stark contrast to Ward's stated goals of focusing on doubles and triples. They also failed to crack the top-10 teams offensively according to runs scored, another piece of evidence contrary to Ward's resume.

Altogether, the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coaches since 2010 have varied dramatically. It's like that Mark McGwire was the best of the bunch, but each brought to the table his own unique style. There has been a dropoff in runs scored since McGwiire's inaugural season, and coaches such as Jeff Albert and Turner Ward aren't what McGwire was when reviewing stats from each season.

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