Carlos Delgado knows a thing or two about hitting, retiring from the major leagues in 2009 with 473 career home runs. Delgado will serve as the hitting coach for Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic.
Puerto Rico will look to improve on their qualifier loss to Venezuela in 2009 that ousted them from the tournament. The offensive aspect of their game should be fine-tuned after taking pointers from the Puerto Rican Sultan of Swat, who is best remembered during his days with the Toronto Blue Jays for launching balls off Windows restaurant and into the fifth deck of the Skydome with fury.
Delgado was signed as a catcher by the Blue Jays before transitioning to first base, where he would go on to be one of baseball most prolific mashers. He is a career .280 hitter with 1512 runs batted in his Hall of Fame-worthy 17-year career.
The former bluebirds star participated in the World Baseball Classic in 2009, dominating with a .438 average, two home runs, and seven hits in six games.
This will be Delgado’s first crack at coaching since hanging up the spikes, and a great opportunity to get his feet wet at the international level.
Delgado will serve under the helm of Cleveland Indians minor league manager Edwin Rodriguez. Former major leaguers Carlos Baerga, Jose Valentin and Rick Bones will also assist with the coaching responsibilities.
Puerto Rico will be a force to be reckoned with the likes of Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, Alex Rios, Mike Aviles and Angel Pagan leading the charge. There is no question Delgado could still contribute on the field; however, this time around, he will resort to coaching and mentoring the Puerto Rican contingent.
It’s good to see No. 25 back between the lines.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.