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Hensley Meulens hired as new hitting coach

Here's a Velez. Now make him a good hitter.

...taps foot impatiently...

Like, now. We're in this thing next year.

(The press release is after the jump, if you're so inclined. I'll just leave this link here so you don't have to ask.)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The San Francisco Giants have announced that Hensley Meulens has been named the club's major league hitting coach, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today.

             Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens spent the past season as the triple-A hitting coach for the Fresno Grizzlies, guiding the team to the sixth-highest batting avg. in the Pacific Coast League with a .275 mark. Two of the Grizzlies' batters placed in the top 10 for highest batting avg. in the PCL with John Bowker leading the league with a .342 clip and Jesus Guzman placing fifth with a .321 mark. After the minor league season concluded, he joined the Giants and worked as an assistant during September.

             "We are excited to promote someone of Hensley's baseball background to the big league club," Sabean said. "He will be a great asset to the team as we look to improve our run scoring production with both our existing major league hitters as well as the young talent we have coming up from our minor league system. Hensley brings a unique perspective to the game with his playing time in the majors, Latin America and Japan as well as his coaching work with a number of major league organizations. He distinguished himself as a coach this past season in spring training, with Fresno and here with the big league club in September, and we look for him to get underway immediately with our hitters this off-season."

             "I'm excited to add a person of Hensley's professionalism to our hardworking coaching staff," Giants manager Bruce Bochy stated. "He had a chance to assist with us before and during the season and he displayed to everyone a tremendous ability to work with all of our hitters and to relate to them on various levels."

             Prior to joining the Giants' organization, the Curacao native was the triple-A hitting instructor for the Indianapolis Indians of the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization from 2005-08. He was also a coach at Bluefield, Baltimore's advanced rookie team in the Appalachian League from 2003-04. The 42-year-old made his professional debut with the New York Yankees organization in 1986 and spent eight years in their system. He played parts of five seasons with the Yankees (1989-93) before spending three seasons in Japan (1994-96). Upon returning to the U.S., Meulens had brief stints with Montreal (1997) and Arizona (1998) before concluding a 17-year playing career in 2002 with Puebla in the Mexican League.  The former utility man batted .220 (109-for-496) with 15 home runs and 53 RBI in 182 major league contests. Meulens was the first major leaguer to come from Curacao, which has since produced a number of other players, including Andruw Jones, Randall Simon and Jair Jurrjens. He has the rare ability of speaking five languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, Papiamento and Japanese.