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Cubs Hire Anthony Iapoce As Hitting Coach

Iapoce spent the last three seasons as the Rangers' hitting coach.

October 15, 2018 - 2:57 pm
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(670 The Score) Four days after ending the Chili Davis experiment, the Cubs have found a new hitting coach.

The Cubs have hired Anthony Iapoce as their new hitting coach, they announced Monday afternoon. He comes to Chicago after spending the last three seasons as the Texas Rangers' hitting coach. 

Iapoce, 45, previoulsy spent three years in the Cubs organization, serving as a special assistant to the general manager and also overseeing the club's minor league hitting program from 2013-'15. That latter point is key, as Iapoce worked closely with a number of the the current core of Cubs position players when they were developining in the minor leagues.

The Cubs let Davis go last Thursday after offensive woes in the second half contributed greatly to their squandering of the National League Central crown and their exit in the wild-card game.

The Cubs were sixth in the NL with 4.67 runs per game in 2018, a drop-off from when they were second at 5.07 in 2017 under hitting coach John Mallee. A big reason why was because Chicago suffered a dramatic dip in power, finishing 11th in the NL in home runs with 167 after hitting 223 in 2017.

The Cubs' power outage came as Davis stressed to his players to use all fields in place of a focus on launch angle, and it ended up costing the Cubs dearly. At a season-ending news conference, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein had sharp words when addressing the offensive woes, including saying that launch angle isn't a fad.

"Our offense broke somewhere along the lines," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said.

If the Rangers' numbers are any indication, Iapoce will make a point to stress power. The Rangers ranked fifth in the American League in runs and fourth in home runs under Iopoce's watch from 2016-'18. That included a strong 2017 season, in which Texas ranked third in the AL in homers with 237.