Kevin Long
Kevin Long on April 9, 2017 (cropped).jpg
Long with the Mets in 2017
Philadelphia Phillies – No. 53
Outfielder / Hitting coach
Born: (1966-12-30) December 30, 1966 (age 55)
Van Nuys, California
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Teams
As Coach
Career highlights and awards

Kevin Richard Long (born December 30, 1966) is an American former minor league baseball player and the current hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has formerly served as the hitting coach for the New York Yankees (2007–14), New York Mets (2015–17) and Washington Nationals (2018–21).

Playing career

Long graduated from Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, Arizona.

Long was a second-team All-American in 1989 at the University of Arizona and was also named first-team Pac-10 that year. A three-year letter-winner, Long still holds the Arizona record for most extra-base hits in a game (five) and ranks in the top-10 in several different statistical categories (second, extra-base hits; sixth, doubles; seventh, multi-hit games; eighth, total bases; ninth, runs scored).[1]

Long was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 31st round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft. He played in the Royals system for eight seasons, from 1989 until 1996.[2] Long led Class-A Eugene in 1989 in games played, at bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, and RBIs. He also ranked eighth among all Northwest League hitters with his .312 batting average in his rookie season. He missed most of the 1994 season after undergoing surgery on his left wrist.

Coaching career

At the end of spring training in 1997, Long, who was assigned to the Triple-A Omaha Royals, decided to retire, asking instead for a coaching job.[3] Long made his professional managing debut with the Class-A Wilmington Blue Rocks in 1997. He was named the Northwest League's co-Manager of the Year after leading the Spokane Indians to the league title in 1999.[2]

Long served as the hitting coach in the Royals organization with the Double-A Wichita Wranglers (2000–01) and Triple-A Omaha Royals (2002–03). He became the hitting coach for the Yankees' Triple-A team, the Columbus Clippers, from 2004 to 2006.

Long was promoted to hitting coach for the New York Yankees in 2007. Long guided a Yankees offense that ranked first in MLB in runs (968), hits (1,656), home runs (201), RBIs (929), team batting average (.290), slugging percentage (.463), on-base percentage (.366) and total bases (2,649).[4] The 968 runs were the most in franchise history since 1937 (979). His offense also featured the American League MVP Alex Rodriguez, three Silver Sluggers (Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Rodriguez) and four of the American League's top-15 batting averages.

After a down year offensively in 2008, Long's Yankee hitters again led the league in offense during the 2009 season, in which they also won the franchise's 27th World Series title, and led the American League in runs again.[5]

Following the 2010 season, the Yankees signed Long to a three-year contract.[6] He was fired following the 2014 season.[7]

On October 23, 2014, Long was hired by the New York Mets to be their hitting coach.[8]

After being turned down by the Mets for their open managerial position, Long left the team and became the hitting coach of the Washington Nationals on November 2, 2017.[9] The team then won the World Series in 2019. That year the Nationals led the National League in on-base percentage and were in the top 10 in MLB in most other batting categories. Anthony Rendon was named an All-Star and Silver Slugger at third base and outfielder Juan Soto was named World Series co-MVP with Stephen Strasburg.

In October 2021, Long left the Nationals to become the hitting coach of the Philadelphia Phillies, reuniting him with former Yankees manager Joe Girardi.[10]

Personal life

When Long was still a player (though he does not remember which year), he suffered an accident during an offseason job with a drywall company, when a 25-pound sledgehammer hit him in the left eye, shattering three bones.[11]

Long resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with wife, Marcey, daughter, Britney, and sons Tracy and Jaron. Jaron played professional baseball in the Yankees and Nationals organizations.

During the offseason, Long works part-time for organizations such as MVP Sports Camps.

References

  1. ^ Shpigel, Ben (October 7, 2010). "As Yankees' Most Valuable Repairman, Long Revives Struggling Hitters". The New York Times. p. B17. Archived from the original on March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Manager and Coaches | yankees.com: Team". New York Yankees. MLB.com. Retrieved March 7, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Carig, Marc (March 6, 2011). "Yankees Q&A with hitting coach Kevin Long". NJ.com. The Star-Ledger. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "2009 New York Yankees Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 7, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "2010 American League Standard Batting". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 7, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ King, George A. (November 1, 2010). "Yankees reach new deal with Long, begin planning offseason". New York Post. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Heyman, Jon (October 10, 2014). "Sources: Yankees fire well-respected hitting coach Kevin Long". CBS Sports. Retrieved October 10, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Ex-Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long hired by crosstown Mets". Sports Illustrated. October 23, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Martin, Dan (November 2, 2017). "Kevin Long is leaving for a Mets rival". New York Post. Retrieved November 30, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Phillies hire Long from Nationals to be hitting coach". The Washington Times. Associated Press. October 13, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Jennings, Chad (March 14, 2010). "Hitting coach Long has players' respect". LoHud.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Unknown
Wilmington Blue Rocks hitting coach
1997
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by Wilmington Blue Rocks manager
1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jeff Garber
Spokane Indians manager
1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Unknown
Wichita Wranglers hitting coach
2000-2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Unknown
Omaha Royals hitting coach
2002-2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sal Rende
Columbus Clippers hitting coach
2004-2006
Succeeded by
Preceded by New York Yankees hitting coach
2007–2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by New York Mets hitting coach
2015–2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by Washington Nationals hitting coach
2018–2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach
2022–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent