Sox Turn To Menechino To Take Hitters To 'Next Level'

The White Sox on Thursday hired Frank Menechino as their new hitting coach.

670 The Score Staff
October 10, 2019 - 4:37 pm

(670 The Score) Echoing a familiar refrain in an MLB landscape in which it seems nobody gets fired but instead let go or not retained, the White Sox cited the need for a new voice in naming Frank Menechino their new hitting coach Thursday.

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Menechino, 48, served as the hitting coach of Triple-A Charlotte in 2019, his first season with the organization. He will replace Todd Steverson, who wasn't asked to return after spending the past six seasons as the White Sox's hitting coach.

The White Sox believe Menechino can get a message across more effectively to a team with a promising young core of hitters.

"We are excited to have Frankie as our new hitting coach," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "His reputation is a very strong one considering his knowledge, passion and work ethic. We feel very strongly he is the right guy to take us to the next level here."

The White Sox were 13th in the American League in scoring (4.4 runs), 12th in OPS (.728) and last in walks drawn (378) in 2019. It's Menechino's task to help turn that around. His quality work at Triple-A Charlotte with some of the White Sox's top prospects -- notably outfielder Luis Robert and infielder Nick Madrigal -- helped make him an attractive candidate. Both flourished under his watch in 2019.

Menechino previously spent five seasons with the Marlins, serving as their hitting coach in 2017-'18 and an assistant hitting coach from 2014-'16. While there, he helped foster the development of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto before the Marlins traded all three in their rebuild.

"Walking is a by-product of having a rock-solid approach, not giving into the pitcher in just covering one side of the plate at a time," Menechino said about improving the White Sox's OPS and on-base percentage. "You also do not want to miss your pitch. When you put the pitcher on the defense and have a two-strike approach, that is the type of stuff we will be looking for."

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson won the AL batting title this season, while third baseman Yoan Moncada and outfielder Eloy Jimenez had strong seasons as well and took crucial steps in their development. Menechino began doing his homework on all three back in spring training, observing closely and making mental notes.

"Once these guys have three years (1,500 or so at-bats) and have experienced the ups and downs of the major leagues, that is when you can figure out what they will become," Menechino said. "Once they figure out and make these adjustments, it is up to me to be their eyes and keep them where they want to be. I must be able to say, 'Hey, you are not doing this right.' So it's getting to know them, getting to see where they are and where they think they are at, what they want to improve on. I am a guideline for them. We must build the relationship so we can go into the cage and almost argue a little bit. I ask questions to try and get the best out of them. This way you come together and work together."

The White Sox front office, manager Rick Renteria and Menechino will work together to hire a new assistant hitting coach as well, Hahn said.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.