The Cincinnati Reds continued to shake up their organization this week as they hired 30-year-old Cody Atkinson. He will be in a job that previously did not exist within the organization: Hitting Assessment and Run Production coach. The job will be more of a roving coordinator type of job. Atkinson will travel through the entire organization throughout the year. He will be working with the Major League staff, as well as Minor League staffs at the various levels.
Chad Dotson and Jason Linden brought up this hire a little bit on the Redleg Nation Radio podcast. If you haven’t listened to the latest episode yet, which came out this morning, what are you waiting for? But let’s dive into it a little bit more here on the pages of Redleg Nation with some words.
Cody Atkinson apparently had multiple teams calling for his services. It was the Reds who once again got their man (much like they did with David Bell, Derek Johnson, and Turner Ward).
“The last organization that called, the Reds, I told them that unless it was a life changing opportunity they didn’t need to keep calling me,” said Atkinson.
Two days later, the Reds came calling again and the deal proved too sweet for Atkinson to pass up.
Unlike some of the other coaches that were hired by the Reds who will be working with the big league staff, Cody Atkinson will also be working with the minor league teams, too. He is based out of Seattle, and according to the article from Lewis County Sports linked above, he will be able to work from home at times. He will then join the Reds, and the affiliates in the minor leagues at times throughout the year in a role similar to that of the roving coordinators in the minor leagues.
The description seems to suggest that his job won’t only to be working directly with the players and other coaches, but to also seemingly be working with some analytics and video remotely for the organization. This is just another move that seems to be the Reds stepping forward towards more analytical-based approach to teaching and developing.
This hire is one of many that the organization has made since last season. Cody Atkinson now has one of several jobs in the coaching/front office/development area that didn’t exist a year ago. Chris Buckley and Jeff Graupe were both promoted to new roles in the player personnel department. Eric Lee took over as the Senior Director of Player Development. That used to be the role that everyone referred to as “the farm director”. It no longer is, sort of. Shawn Pender is now at the top of that one in a new role as Vice President of Player Development – a role that didn’t exist previously. Jeff Pickler was added to the Major League coaching staff as game planning/outfield coach. Caleb Cotham was brought on as an assistant pitching coach.
When it comes to scouting of amateur players, there have also been major changes. The director of amateur scouting is now under Brad Meador. He will be the man in charge of running the draft now, taking over for Chris Buckley. On the international side, Trey Hendricks takes over in this market. Tony Arias, who has run the department for years, is moving into a scouting role.
We may not see the results of these moves immediately. But one things is for sure, the Reds are doing all that they can to try and change how they go about things. Whatever it was that they were doing wasn’t working the way that they wanted it to. The new hires are a signal that they weren’t happy and are looking to change things. It seems they are looking to add more analytics into how they teach and develop players. That applies in both the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues.