Hitting coaches can only be so much better than they were as players. Is that true? Maybe, probably not. Whatever.
The good news about Derek Shelton’s performance as Rays hitting coach this year is how much better the team is hitting than him. Looking at Shelton’s minor league stats (he was a catcher) and plugging them into Kyle Broddy’s minor league equivalency calculator (being nice and giving him all his stats as though he was in the Sally League the whole time), we get a major league equivalency of .226/.285/.280. Shelton’s Rays hitters are better than that this year, coming in at .232/.314/374. Jose Molina is a lot closer to that, coming in at .190/.253/.317, a .570 OPS to Shelton’s .565. Still, good job Derek making the Rays hitters better than you were.
More research coming to determine whether there is any correlation whatsoever between hitting coach pro performance and how good his team hits. But Kevin Long’s .273/.350/.365 in the minors reaching Triple-A is a heck of a lot better than Shelton’s numbers.