Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens, the Rockies’ new hitting instructor, understands the difficulty of finding offensive success in vastly different environments at home and on the road. Throughout five seasons, he won three World Series rings with the Giants.
The Colorado experience is unique in the game, with not only an extremely hitter-friendly playing setting but climatic conditions that affect everything from how pitches move to how the body absorbs exhaustion. The Rockies are putting their faith in Meulens’ track record, which includes lengthy stints as a hitting coach (including 2022 as the Yankees’ assistant hitting coach). Two spells as a bench coach in the Major League (Giants 2017–19, Mets 2020), management roles in the World Baseball Classic and winter league, and managerial jobs in the WBC and winter ball.
It was different but the same throughout his time with the Giants.
For Barry Bonds, Oracle Stadium was a home run park, but for most other players, it was a pitcher’s park because of the park’s far-off outfield boundaries and the breezes off McCovey Cove. Even though the Giants finished last in the Majors in run-in overall (103) and at home (31) and in the middle of the pack in runs (12th) and OPS in 2012, Meulens’ third season as hitting coach, the Giants won their second World Series in three seasons (14th).
Meulens joins the Rockies, who were the best in the Majors at home in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage but barely competed away from home in any metric. The outcome was a 68-94 record and a final finish in the National League West. Can Meulens assist his new team in following in the footsteps of the Giants, whose thinking was balanced even if they had to adopt various attitudes depending on the situation?
“We promised to score one more run than the opposition. We occasionally created runs by hitting a line drive with runners on base, keeping the line moving, and being less concerned with the big ball. Then, when we were playing on the road, the players would adjust and make sure they had pitches to hit and drive them.
The Rockies are optimistic that Meulens could explain his ideas and instill confidence in his hitters after examining three internal and four external candidates.
Bud Black, the Rockies manager, stated, “He’s got a fantastic personality. He has experience as a manager in the World Baseball Classic, a bench coach, and a hitting instructor for San Francisco clubs that have won the World Series. The resume is vocal. Not just one or two things, either. For me, what makes the person stand out is their collection.
Meulens played in the Major Leagues with the Yankees (1989–1993), Expos (1997), and D-backs (1998) in addition to three seasons in Japan. He has a cousin who lives in the Denver region, and he enjoyed visiting her and her family when the Giants played at Coors Field. He has acquired five languages and has dedicated himself to being a communicator thanks to his varied playing career and education-focused upbringing in Curaçao. His coaching strategies include encouraging player interaction.
Meulens, who interviewed for the management position with the Yankees in 2017 and hoped to manage in the Major Leagues, stated, “I want us to work together and want a one-on-one relationship with players.” “I also try to partner up players or group two or three like hitters together so that they can solve problems and support one another. One of my strategy’s advantages is that.
“With the Giants, even if we made adjustments, we did not concentrate on home and away. We had teammates who were willing to sacrifice themselves to finish the task. That is the appeal of a potent offense.