The Mets joined a growing trend around Major League Baseball today by creating and filling a new position on the coaching staff. They hired Luis Natera as their assistant hitting coach, becoming the 20th team in the sport to add one.
The Mets chose Natera, who is in his 24th year in the organization and spent the past seven as the hitting coach at Double-A Binghamton for several reasons. He has served as the coordinator of the Mets Dominican Academy and was once a minor league player with the franchise.
Natera will serve a supplemental to hitting coach Dave Hudgens, helping to prepare hitters in the latter stages of a game.
The Mets also considered Triple-A hitting coach George Greer but wanted him to stay in Las Vegas to help with the positional prospects that are a step away from the majors.
The club join a growing number of teams that have added the position to their coaching staff. The Mets become the 20th team to have an assistant hitting coach -- a role popularized by Tony La Russa and the Cardinals, but dates back to the 1980s.