Here are the two biggest things to know about John Mallee. First, he’s got experience at working with young hitters. Second, he coached the Cubs hitters for the past three seasons, during which time, Cubs hitters led NL teams in on-base percentage and were second in runs scored and OPS.
The Cubs fired Mallee and third base coach Gary Jones following their exit from the playoffs. The popular theory is that for some reason, manager Joe Maddon simply wanted to shake up his coaching staff, since both Mallee and Jones were highly regarded around baseball. In fact, general manager Theo Epstein had said earlier that he was happy with the job that all of the coaches had done and that he would be okay with all of them returning to Maddon’s staff. Unfortunately for Mallee and Jones, Maddon had other ideas.
Mallee coached primarily young hitters in all three of his previous stints as a hitting coach. His first job was with Miami in 2010 and 2011. After the Marlins endured a seven-game losing skid in 2011, Mallee was replaced by Eduardo Perez. Under Mallee, the Marlins were 19th in runs scored, 17th in home runs and 15th in team OPS in the majors.
In 2013 and 2014, Mallee was the Houston Astros hitting coach and players like Jose Altuve and Chris
Carter sang his praises for helping them develop. Following the 2014 season, Mallee left of his own accord to join Maddon’s staff in Chicago, his hometown.
Mallee does hold a connection to the Phillies. Back in 1991, the Phillies drafted Mallee from the University of Illinois at Chicago in the 12th round of the MLB Draft. He played two seasons in their organization, hitting .208/.313/.257 in 115 games in rookie and A league ball.