Enters his third full season as Rays hitting coach…named to the post on Sep 6, 2016, replacing Derek Shelton, and filled the role for the last 24 games of the season…is the seventh hitting coach in club history, following Steve Henderson (1998, 2006-09), Leon Roberts (1999-2000), Wade Boggs (2001), Milt May (2002), Lee Elia (2003-05) and Shelton (2010-16) ... From 2017 to 2018, the Rays offense made the majors' largest improvements in batting avg. (.258, 3rd in the AL), on-base pct. (.333, 2nd in the AL) and strikeout rate (22.4 pct.)…they led the AL with a .343 OBP after the 2018 All-Star break ... In 2017, the Rays hit a club-record 228 HR, 6th in the majors…excluding rookies, the Rays had seven players on their season-ending active roster who tied or set a career high in homers ... Joined the Rays organization in 2014 as minor league hitting coordinator and remained in that role for three seasons until he was promoted to hitting coach ... Was major league hitting coach for the Blue Jays under Manager John Gibbons in 2013…prior to that had spent three seasons (2010-12) as hitting coach for the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s…after his playing career ended in 2007, he served as a coach for the GCL Blue Jays for one season and a roving hitting instructor for the Jays in 2009.
During his 16-year pro career as an outfielder he played in exactly 1,800 games in the minors and 59 games in the majors over parts of five seasons with the Reds (1996), Blue Jays (2000, 2006), Marlins (2001) and Orioles (2004)…spent time in eight different organizations and was signed three different times as a free agent by the Blue Jays ... Was a 10th-round draft pick by the Orioles out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, but instead attended the University of Central Florida…was selected by the Reds in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1992 June Draft, immediately before the Yankees drafted Derek Jeter ... Was a teammate of Rays Manager Kevin Cash in 2002 at Triple-A Syracuse ... Hit 4 HR in the majors, including 2 HR off former Cy Young Award winner Fernando Valenzuela while a rookie with the Reds in 1996…his last homer came off Rays TV color analyst Brian Anderson, on June 30, 2004 at KC, helping the Orioles to a 13-4 win.
In 1992, became the first player in UCF history to be selected in the first round of MLB's June Draft ... At UCF, hit .331 in 177 games…finished with 23 HR, 148 RBI, a .552 SLG and 370 total bases ... As a junior in 1992, earned first-team All-American honors after leading the Knights with 52 runs, 7 3B, 14 HR and 143 total bases…his 14 HR in 1992 are still tied for 8th all-time on the school's single-season list.
Met his wife, Emily, at UCF, and they married in January 2005…they have two kids, Luke (13) and Elle (10).