After 15 years away from baseball, Tom Brunansky decided to return. And his love for the game has apparently translated into a gift as a hitting coach, the job he currently holds for the Twins' Class AAA Rochester team.
Some of that praise comes from Twins general manager Terry Ryan in a story that was just published by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: “He’s creative; he doesn’t cookie-cut. He knows what pitchers are trying to do to hitters. And I think hitters really feed off him.”
Some of the praise comes from current Rochester player Evan Bigley, who also worked with Brunansky when both were at Class AA New Britain last season: “He breaks down each person instead of teaching one thing that was successful to him. He goes with your swing. He figures out different things that will work based on your swing.”
And the sweetest praise comes from his boss, Rochester manager Gene Glynn: “He’s going to be a big league hitting coach. He truly cares for every guy and is trying to get them to the next level.”
The story, by Kevin Oklobzija, goes back to how Brunansky was coerced by a California high school coach into making a return to baseball -- and how he fought off the initial overtures. The short version is that Brunansky, 52, found he could only get so much satisfaction from golf.
And once he took the first step, he was off and running.
For those of you who are that young, Brunansky was the right fielder on the Twins' 1987 World Series-winning team. He had joined the Twins in 1982 and suffered through the terrible seasons before the Twins surprised everyone, including themselves, by winning that title.
The next year, in a move that didn't quite work out, he was traded to St. Louis for second baseman Tom Herr, who never quite fit with the Twins and was traded at the end of the 1988 season.
If nothing else, you should read the story for an update on Chris Parmelee and his most recent power numbers.
You can read it here.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Buhr.)