Mets name Kevin Long new hitting coach

After eight years with the Yankees, hitting coach Kevin Long stays in New York to work for the Mets.Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News After eight years with the Yankees, hitting coach Kevin Long stays in New York to work for the Mets.

The Mets apparently did not have to look far and wide for a new hitting coach. Thursday, they officially hired Kevin Long, who had spent the last eight years working in the same capacity with the Yankees.

“Kevin’s experience, success and wealth of knowledge make him the perfect fit as our hitting instructor,” said Sandy Alderson. “This is a very positive step for the Mets. We welcome Kevin, and his wife, Marcey, to the Mets family.”

In his fifth offseason as the GM of the Mets, Alderson has implemented a hitting approach that preaches pitch selection and on-base percentage. Long worked with a similar program in the Yankees farm system. He also has a successful relationship with Curtis Granderson, the struggling outfielder the Mets signed to a $60 million, four year deal last offseason.

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise,” said Long. “I had a great meeting with Sandy and Terry yesterday and I can’t wait to get started and help in any way I can.”

Long was fired by the Yankees earlier this month in a minor shake-up of the staff after missing the playoffs for the second straight season. The Mets had fired their hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, in May and then after the season ended reassigned both interim hitting coach Lamar Johnson and assistant hitting coach Luis Natera back into the minor league side of the organization.

Like the Mets, and most of baseball in 2014, the Yankees scuffled on offense this season. The Yankees offense finished 20th in baseball in runs scored (633), team batting average (.245) and OPS (.687). They Yankees finished 23rd in the majors, one spot below the Mets, in on-base percentage (.307).

The Mets were a middling offense in 2014, finishing eighth in the National League in runs per game (.388), 20th in home runs (125) and 13th in team batting average (.239). They were ninth in the NL in on-base percentage (308).

Granderson’s struggles largely contributed to the Mets disappointing offense in 2014, hitting .227 with 20 home runs and 66 RBI. Long helped Granderson to breakout years with the Yankees, hitting 84 home runs in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

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