The San Francisco Giants are expected to announce several new hires on Monday at the Winter Meetings, but one of the coaches joining the organization is now known.
Cincinnati Reds assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker is slated to join new manager Gabe Kapler’s staff as the Giants’ hitting coach, according to a report from The Athletic.
Ecker, 33, spent last season with the Reds but previously served as a Triple-A hitting coach for the Angels and also worked in the St. Louis Cardinals player development department. According to Ecker’s bio on the Reds’ official website, the hitting coach’s teaching methods incorporate “human movement research and technology-based applications to the body and swing.”
The Bakersfield, Calif. native attended Los Altos High in the Bay Area before playing one season of baseball at Long Beach State University. Following a stint at Lewis-Clark State College, Ecker was selected in the 22nd round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Ecker only spent two seasons playing in affiliated ball and never advanced past the Low-A level.
After retiring as a player, one of the first jobs Ecker held in coaching was as an assistant at Los Altos High. Five years after his tenure coaching the Eagles ended, he’ll find himself in the dugout at Oracle Park.
Ecker is younger than Giants third baseman Evan Longoria and only a year older than catcher Buster Posey and shortstop Brandon Crawford.
It’s unclear how many coaches the Giants have already hired for Kapler’s staff, but the only coach expected to be retained from Bruce Bochy’s 2019 staff is third base coach Ron Wotus. The Giants announced Wotus would return to his role at Kapler’s introductory press conference in November while several of the other coaches who worked under Bochy including Matt Herges and Hensley Meulens have already been hired by other major league teams.
The Giants’ previous hitting coach, Alonzo Powell, recently accepted a position as a coach with the Chunichi Dragons in Japan.