With the departure of Mark Kotsay to the Oakland Athletics as their new bench coach, the San Diego Padres had a need at hitting coach. That need has been filled as the team has signed Alan Zinter as their new hitting instructor.
Not much was known about Zinter as he is hardly a house hold name. Zinter had a total of 78 career Major League at bats. He retired with a batting line of .167/.214/.330 with three homers and nine RBI’s. The former first round pick in the 1989 draft (24th overall) was a catcher out of the University of Arizona.
Zinter eventually moved to first base, and had a long Minor League career. He played in the Mets, Tigers, Red Sox, Mariners, Cubs, Astros and Diamondback organizations. He was a .258 career Minor League hitter and slugged 250 homers and drove in 931 runs. Zinter even played a season in Japan for the Seibu Lions in 1999.
His love for the game is evident as Zinter had a long road to finally make it to the big leagues in 2002 for the Astros. Though he does not have a very succesful professional career, does not mean that the man cannot coach.
He has shown a great flare for working with young players and developing their swings. Sometimes it takes a person who has failed in order to improve your swing. Zinter could work wonders with the Padres team and help create a new hitting approach for the new team.
He began his coaching career in 2008 when he coached at the rookie level of the Diamondbacks organization. He was then named the hitting coach for the High-A Visalia Rawhides in 2010. After a two-year stay Zinter was named the hitting coach for the Double-A Mobile Bears. Most recently he was hired by the Houston Astros as the assistant hitting coach since 2014. He had great success working with the Astros young talent.
The connection to Andy Green is the two played together in 2004 and Zinter was a coach in the Arizona system from 2008 to 2011. Green surely wants to develop a staff that he trusts and clearly the 47-year-old Zinter falls into that category.