New Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long thinks Alec Bohm is “going to be a force in this league for a long time.”
He gave an interview to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Alex Coffey, talking about ramping up coaching before the lockout and what he’s doing to get ready once it’s over:
Aware that the CBA would expire on Dec. 1, and that his communication would likely be cut off with his players after that date, Long decided to work with as many 40-man roster players as he could over those 52 days. Using the Phillies’ spring training facility in Clearwater, Fla., as a home base, he scheduled four to five sessions with five players who were in the area: J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, Adam Haseley, Matt Vierling, and Luke Williams. All five were given feedback and drills to work on over the course of the lockout, in the event that Long wouldn’t be able to be in touch for awhile.
The sense of urgency was felt so strongly that Long held a batting practice in Clearwater the day before the lockout started with Bohm, Vierling, Haseley, and Williams. Bohm, who lives in Florida during the offseason, made a strong impression on Long, who says he is “going to be a force in this league for a long time.”
“His approach is really, really good when he’s able to kind of stay in the middle of field and even a little bit to right-center,” Long said of Bohm, 25. “I’ve always liked his approach. I will say this: He’s going to be closer to the hitting position, and he’s going to have a shorter swing than he had last year. So I would say Alec is going to be a little bit more spread out, he’s going to have a little less load, and everything he’s gonna do is gonna be shorter and more precise to get to the ball.
Once the Phillies return to play, a lot of this season is going to ride on how the left side of the infield performs. If Kevin Long and Bobby Dickerson can fix Bohm and Didi Gregorius, wax those Hall of Fame buffs. Long’s resume over the last four years includes a World Series trophy with the Nationals and speaks for itself.
Over the last four years under Long, the Nationals led the majors in on-base percentage (.338) and led the National League in batting average (.259). In that same span, Washington had the second-lowest strikeout rate (20.8%) in the majors and the fourth-highest walk rate (9.5%).
We need the 2020 version of Alec Bohm back. The guy who hit .338 and finished 2nd in the NL ROY race. He still had a high K% and low walk% that year, but his K rate ballooned to 26.6% in 2021. Here’s to hoping we get a more patient Alec Bohm at the plate this summer. And if he doesn’t:
Joe Girardi challenged his former Yankees assistant coach Kevin Long to a fight in June
Now they’re reunited in Philadelphia as Girardi is once again hiring Long to be his hitting coach pic.twitter.com/siu0CwQvB9
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) October 11, 2021