Washington Nationals News: Jacque Jones Named Assistant Hitting Coach


The Washington Nationals continued to announce changes to their coaching staff as they will be adding a new position to the staff under new manager Dusty Baker. While Baker did retain Rick Schu as the hitting coach for 2016, there will be an assistant hitting coach for the first time. That assistant coach, according to president and general manager Mike Rizzo, will be Jacque Jones:

The news of Jones being a candidate for this new position was first reported by FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal on Saturday:

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This will be the first time that Jones will be a hitting coach at the Major League level. However, he does have experience as a coach at the minor league level. The 40-year-old former outfielder was a hitting coach in the San Diego Padres’ minor league system from 2012-14. He was with high-A Fort Wayne in 2012, double-A San Antonio in 2013, and triple-A El Paso in 2014.

The one thing that helps Jones with this job is his familiarity with Baker. Jones played under Baker during his final season with the Cubs in 2006. During that season, Jones had a slash line of .285/.335/.400 with five home runs, 66 RBI’s, and a .335 on-base percentage.

Jones began his career with the Minnesota Twins. He was drafted by Minnesota in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft. He would make his Major League debut with Minnesota in 1999. During his seven seasons with the Twins, the man who played all of the outfield positions hit .279 with 132 home runs, 476 RBI’s, and a career .326 on-base percentage.

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After playing two seasons with the Cubs (2006 and 2007), Chicago traded him to Detroit in November 2007 for Omar Infante. He played the 2008 season, his final year in the big leagues, with the Tigers and Florida Marlins. He finished his ten-year career with a .277 batting average, 165 home runs, 630 RBI’s, and an on-base percentage of .326.

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The other news involving the coaching staff that was reported today is that the role for Chris Speier on the staff has yet to be decided. Speier, who was on Baker’s staff with the Cubs in 2006, will either be the bench coach or the third base coach for the Nats: