The Washington Nationals agreed to terms with hitting coach Darnell Coles on Monday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Coles, 59, joins the Nationals after spending the previous three seasons (2019-21) as the hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2019, the Diamondbacks matched a club record with 220 home runs, an increase of 44 home runs from the previous season. That season, Arizona had six players with at least 25 home runs, tied for second-most in Major League Baseball.
Prior to his time with the Diamondbacks, Coles served as the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2015-18. Under his leadership, the Brewers recorded two of their top four single-season home run totals in their history.
Coles was the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers in 2014, his first career coaching stint at the Major League level. That season, the Tigers led Major League Baseball in batting average (.277) and ranked second in runs scored (757), on-base percentage (.331), slugging percentage (.426) and OPS (.757).
“We are very excited to add Darnell Coles as our hitting coach,” said Nationals manager Dave Martinez. “We align on hitting philosophy, process and focusing on the here and now. He’s not only an outstanding hitting coach, but a great baseball man. Darnell has a great rapport with both veterans and young players and brings a thorough understanding of the analytics that we would like to incorporate.”
Coles returns to the Nationals organization where he spent four seasons (2006-09) in various roles in the Minor League system, including hitting instructor (2006), manager of short-season Single-A Vermont (2007) and Single-A Hagerstown (2008), and hitting coach at Triple-A Syracuse (2009).
Following the 2009 season, Coles joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization where he served two seasons (2010-11) as hitting coordinator and two seasons (2012-13) as the manager of Double-A Huntsville.
Coles played 14 Major League seasons with the Seattle Mariners (1983-85, 1988-90), Detroit Tigers (1986-87, 1990), Pittsburgh Pirates (1987-88), San Francisco Giants (1991), Cincinnati Reds (1992), Toronto Blue Jays (1993-94), St. Louis Cardinals (1995), and Colorado Rockies (1997). He was a teammate of Dave Martinez on the Cincinnati Reds in 1992 and a member of the 1993 World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays.