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Phillies Q&A: Hitting coach John Mallee on working with veterans, lineup consistency, key metrics and more

By Meghan Montemurro May 10, 2019


ST. LOUIS — The Phillies’ lineup, on paper, entered the season as one of the best in baseball


ST. LOUIS — The Phillies’ lineup, on paper, entered the season as one of the best in baseball.

A mix of young talent and proven All-Stars, the offense was expected to take a step forward in 2019. The Phillies have shown they can score runs in bunches. Through Thursday’s off-day, the Phillies’ +31 run differential was third best in the National League and the only positive differential in the division. They rank among the league leaders in runs scored, on-base percentage and walk-to-strikeout ratio, while sitting near the top-third in other key statistical categories including slugging percentage, wRC+ and OPS. Still, there is room to become a more consistent group, to improve their collective contact rate and how hard they’re putting balls in play.

This week The Athletic caught up with hitting coach John Mallee, who’s in his second season with the Phillies.

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How an improving Rhys Hoskins has established himself as one of MLB’s most dangerous hitters

By Meghan Montemurro May 8, 2019

ST. LOUIS — Sometimes it is easy to forget Rhys Hoskins’ relative inexperience at the big-league level.

Despite just over two seasons’ worth of game time in the majors, Hoskins has developed a reputation for displaying a balance of power hitting and plate patience, which has become amplified this season for the first-place Phillies. After going 4-for-5 with a double and a home run in Tuesday’s 11-1 win against the Cardinals, Hoskins is now hitting .302 with a .425 on-base percentage and 1.076 OPS through 34 games. That combination of production was last sustained by a big leaguer over a full season in 2006 by Cleveland’s Travis Hafner and former Phillie Ryan Howard in his MVP season.

As part of a deep lineup boasting former MVPs and veteran players, Hoskins and his contributions might be flying a bit under the radar. But make no mistake: Hoskins has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the first six weeks of the season.

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Phillies’ Scott Kingery goes deep on changes at the plate

Phillies’ Scott Kingery goes deep on changes at the plate after 2018 horror show

by Scott Lauber, Updated: February 22, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. — When Scott Kingery was finally able to stomach seeing video from the horror movie that was his rookie season, he saw an out-of-control swing that did more slashing than Michael Myers and opposing pitchers who salivated at the sight of him walking to the plate, like Hannibal Lechter over a dish of liver and fava beans.

The real fright, though, came from a plate approach that was as mangled as Freddy Krueger’s face.

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Cubs hire Chicago native John Mallee as new hitting coach

BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter October 9, 2014

The Cubs didn’t have to go far to find their next hitting coach. They hired Mount Carmel High School grad John Mallee from the Astros’ staff this week to replace Bill Mueller.

They also hired former Cubs outfielder Doug Dascenzo as first-base and outfield coach, shifting first-base coach Eric Hinske to assistant hitting coach, to complete their 2015 coaching staff.

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