The Cincinnati Reds have just announced that they have hired Alan Zinter as the new hitting coach for the team. They also announced that they have promoted Donnie Ecker to assistant hitting coach and director of hitting.
“The structure for the hitting department will closely follow what we have recently instituted on the pitching side. The organizational philosophy will be articulated and implemented in a consistent way across all levels,” said Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams.
Alan Zinter will be Cincinnati’s third hitting coach in the last three seasons. Don Long had served as the hitting coach from 2014-2018. Turner Ward took over for him in 2019. Zinter joins the Reds organization after spending the previous two seasons in the player development system of the San Francisco Giants. He has previously worked as the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres in 2016 and 2017. He was also the assistant hitting coach for the Houston Astros in 2015. In his time prior to that in the minor leagues he was a minor league hitting coordinator in the Cleveland Indians organization, as well as a hitting coach with the Diamondbacks farm system for four seasons.
“Alan and I worked together in San Francisco, and I am very confident in his approach. Alan and Donnie will work well together to provide strong leadership,” said Reds manager David Bell, who worked with Zinter while previously in the San Francisco Giants organization.
Donnie Ecker’s promotion from assistant hitting coach to assistant hitting coach and director of hitting does and doesn’t sound like much of a promotion. On one hand, he didn’t exactly get promoted. But what did happen, or at least it seems has happened, is that he’s been given more responsibility in his job. At the big league level his job seems to remain the same. But it also seems that his job will now include more of a way to help develop an entire plan of what to teach, hitting wise, throughout the entire organization.