Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long speaks on how he plans to fix Alec Bohm heading into the 2022 season
The Philadelphia Phillies hired Kevin Long as their new hitting coach back in October 2021 after parting ways with Joe Dillon. Long joined the Phillies after being employed by the Washington Nationals, where he was a part of the 2019 World Series team.
Almost immediately after Long arrived in Philadelphia, reports came out that he would be heading to Florida to work with Alec Bohm, hoping to fix his broken swing that we all suffered through during the 2021 season.
Kevin Long sat down and talked to Alex Coffey with the Philadelphia Inquirer and talked all about his offseason plans for the team. He’s had his eyes set on many young players, including Matt Vierling, Adam Haseley, and Luke Williams.
Long also worked with JT Realmuto before the lockout and gave all of these players specific drills to work on from that time, until the lockout ends.
Kevin Long is most excited about working with Alec Bohm
“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 the field and even a little bit to right-center. 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…everything he’s gonna do is gonna be shorter and more precise to get to the ball.”
Alec Bohm had a head-turning rookie season for the Phillies. Bohm was hot from the start, slashing .338/.400/.481 in 2020. In 44 games of a 60 game season, Bohm hit 4 HRs, 23 RBIs, logged 54 hits, and totaled a .881 OPS. His swing was smooth, short, but impactful. He found gaps all around the field, and it just seemed like his bat always found the ball.
Bohm finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, only behind Devin Williams, a right-hander from Milwaukee. Bohm was 23 as he entered his second season in the league…and then just lost it.
Alec Bohm’s 2021 season was a disaster. He hit just .247 at the plate, playing 115 games. He struck out 111 times in 380 at-bats and logged just 47 RBIs. Bohm saw a 6.6% increase in his strikeout percentage as well, rising to 26.6%, from 20% in 2020. He would eventually get sent back down to Triple-A, where he hit just .271 in 15 games.
Bohm has never been a good defender either. He’s had flashy plays here and there, but flashy plays can’t cover consistent problems. Bohm posted a .936 fielding percentage in 2021, logging 15 errors in 98 starts at third.
His defensive issues started to get to his head, and it was becoming a concern on the field. You could see how hard he was on himself, and it was becoming obvious he didn’t have the confidence to play the hot corner in the Major Leagues.
Kevin Long is going to change Bohm’s batting woes. A 2020 Alec Bohm is crucial for the upcoming season. If Bohm can get back to a .300 average, and play a mediocre third base, I’ll buy it. Kevin Long has been in this league for many years, and if there’s somebody that can help a player gain his confidence back at the plate, it’s going to be the veteran hitting coach.
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