Casey Myers is in his second season as the hitting coach for the Oakland A's short-season affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters, and his fifth season overall as a hitting coach in the A's system. Myers began his coaching career as a player-coach with Double-A Midland in 2008. The Arizona State alum spent eight years in the A's chain, amassing a .291/.374/.412 line in 374 games.
Myers' Vermont squad is currently tied for fourth in the league in team batting average (.246) but is 11th in the league in team OPS (648). Donald Moore spoke with the former two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year about his 2012 squad.
Donald Moore: Casey, nice seeing you again. How does team's offense look this year?
Casey Myers: Well, we've had our ups and downs. Actually, I haven't seen the exact stats from last year, but I think are comparable in many of the categories. The one category we lack this year has been our timely hitting. I think our average with runners in scoring position has been a little bit lower and we just haven't generated the offense we've needed to win.
DM: As your job as a hitting coach, what aspects do you look for in your players?
CM: Well, we start with the mental approach. More of an approach,as opposed to mechanics. Mechanics, you know, are important yes, but if you have good mechanics, but you don't swing at good pitches, you're not going to hit. So the mental approach about having quality at bats, professional at bats, competing, that's what we stress here. Especially at this level, when a lot of these guys are having their first experience in pro ball.
DM: What's the biggest challenge teaching young hitters?
CM: Sometimes it's patience. You know, it's like anything teaching guys things for the first time. The expectation of getting it right away, you just can't have that. You've just got to be behind them and stick with it and just you keep saying it and keep saying it, then eventually and hopefully it just sinks in.
DM: Any standout players on this year's squad?
CM: Absolutely, I think we've got several guys. We've had a few guys come through here. We had our first round pick, Addison Russell, who is a pretty special talent and we got another young man by the name of Daniel Robertson, who just got with us recently. We talk about ball players, he's another prime example of a ballplayer who is good in the field. He's got a good swing and as a young kid, he handles himself well at this level.
DM: Casey , I know you are really busy, so thank you for your time and the best of luck to you
CM: Thank you.