Today I heard them talking about big Mac and what a great hitting coach he is. One thing caught my attention. Something I have always known but never paid much attention to. Jose Reyes made the comment that he was better with the younger players. Once a player has a routine, they pretty much stick to it and the hitting coach is basically there for support. Sure every now and again you have a hitting coach who tweaks something and it turns to gold(not sure who should get credit for Bautista). Or you have a pitching coach change a motion and the pitcher all of a sudden looks like the next Nolan Ryan. For the most part though, these guys are there for maintenance.
So then I take a look at the Pirates and what they have done over the past couple of years. Spending all that money on the big young arms. Lets call a spade a spade. If things worked out how we all hoped and how NH thought it would, we would have the best farm system in the minors by far. We would have a couple of pitchers knocking down the door of the big league club and a couple of studs at every level. We would be able to trade for Stanton and Upton and still have pitchers left to be excited about. But some players(in the Pirates pitching prospects, most players) just don't develop how everyone would like.
So why is it that we are inking Hitting coaches and Pitching coaches for major league squads for way more than we are paying minor league coaches. What good does it do to have a great major league hitting coach if the major league team doesn't have good hitters to coach. What if you put the best of the best in the minor leagues, pay them more and see what happens. What if the Pirates paid big mac a million dollars and sent him to Bradenton for the year. What if the Pirates spent a couple of million and got Dave Duncan to ride the bench out in West Virginia for the year. These are extreme cases to push forward my point. We spend millions upon millions to get this so called talent in the system. Then we have guys making 30-100 thousand a year developing them for their must important, impressionable seasons. Then we have coaches making the big bucks in the Majors just in case the talent ever gets there. I would go so far as to say it would benefit players to have a well paid "mentor". The Pirates loaded up hitting talent at WV last year. What if you hired a guy like Big Mac to be "their hitting coach" throughout their minor league career. He coaches signs a 4 year 6 million dollar contract and works with those guys in WV, Bradenton, Altoona and Indy. Maybe I am just putting way too much thought into this, but in my opinion, a single A hitting coach is more valuable than a major league hitting coach.