The Minnesota Twins hitting coach had a huge impact on the Bomba Squad last season, but he’ll be heading out to join the Miami Marlins staff in 2020.
There were several faces that helped contribute to the success of the Minnesota Twins’ lineup in 2019, but behind the scenes, there was likely no bigger catalyst than hitting coach James Rowson.
In three seasons as the Twins’ hitting coach, Rowson saw major breakouts from players such as Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano and put himself on several candidate lists for other coaching staffs and even managerial opportunities.
As the Twins exploded into contenders in 2019, several names on the coaching staff figured to be on other team’s radars and the first domino to fall was Rowson, who will leave the Twins and become Miami’s bench coach and offensive coordinator according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Rowson’s impact for the Twins stems throughout the organization as hitters adopted his patient but powerful approach to help set an MLB-record with 307 home runs last season. In addition to their power, the Twins were solid at the plate ranking second behind the Houston Astros in batting average (.270) and OPS (.832) while also finishing sixth in strikeouts (1,334).
Rowson will also be leaving behind one of MLB’s best offenses to take over its worst. The Marlins have plenty of young hitters such as Brian Anderson and Garrett Cooper, but ranked 29th in runs scored (615), 25th in batting average (.241) and dead last in OPS (.673).
Such could be the theme for the Twins’ coaching staff this offseason. While the Twins haven’t made any moves on their own accord, their hand could be forced as teams pick apart a staff responsible for 102 wins last season.