Chili Davis enters spring training preparing for his second season as Mets' hitting coach. He took over last season and oversaw an historic rookie season for Pete Alonso and a breakout season for Jeff McNeil. As a team, the Mets had an OPS of .770, good for sixth in the National League.
Davis spoke with SNY's Steve Gelbs about being more familiar with his hitters as he works in Port St. Lucie for the second time.
"For me, last year a big part of spring training was trying to get to know the players," Davis said. "Just their personalities, their makeup, Hoping they would tell me a little about themselves, and I could work off of that.
"Coming into this year, a lot of guys are returning and I know them. Some of them are coming off of big years, like Pete Alonso. Some of them are trying to have comeback years. But it's the same approach. I still have to listen to them. They've been home and they've worked with specialized hitting coaches to try to impove on some of the areas they felt they needed improvement on. So I need to talk to them and understand why and how and everything else."
Davis also told Gelbs that no matter how prepared you think you might be, there are always unknown variables that come into play throughout a season.
"As a player and a coach, you never know what the year is going to bring," Davis said. "You never know if there's going to be injuries. You never know if a guy is going to struggle and he tries to match his numbers from the previous year or if he's going to approach the year with the same mentality as last year. The same focus, the same purpose.
"But that's why we have spring training. We have time to talk about it. We have time to look back and we can pinpoint the things that allowed that success to happen and the adjustments that were made throughout the course of the season."