A's Name Chili Davis Hitting Coach

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland Athletics announced today the team has reached an agreement with Chili Davis to serve as hitting coach on Manager Bob Melvin’s 2012 staff.  Davis, the Boston Red Sox’s Triple-A hitting coach with Pawtucket last season, replaces Gerald Perry, whose contract was not renewed.

With Davis’ hiring, the A’s have completed their coaching staff for the upcoming season.  Melvin’s staff will also include Chip Hale (bench), Curt Young (pitching), Tye Waller (first base), Mike Gallego (third base) and Rick Rodriguez (bullpen).

Davis, 51, was a three-time All-Star and member of three World Series championship teams during an illustrious 19-year playing career in Major League Baseball.  Originally selected in the 11th round of the 1977 draft by the San Francisco Giants, he became the first Jamaica-born player to play in the majors in 1981.  Considered one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history, Davis batted .274 with 350 home runs, 1,372 RBI, 1,240 runs scored and a .451 slugging percentage in 2,436 big league games with the Giants (1981-87), California Angels (1988-90, 1993-96), Minnesota Twins (1991-92), Kansas City Royals (1997) and New York Yankees (1998-99).

He finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting in 1982 after hitting .261 with 19 homers, 76 RBI and 24 stolen bases for San Francisco.  Davis, a native of Kingston, Jamaica and graduate of Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, hit 20 or more home runs in 10 different seasons as an outfielder-designated hitter.  He earned All-Star recognition with the Giants in 1984 and 1986, and with the Angels in 1994, and served as Melvin’s teammate with San Francisco in 1986-87, including the ’87 club that won the NL West division crown.

Davis later played roles on three World Series championship teams—the 1991 Twins, and both the 1998 and 1999 Yankees.  He batted .277 with 29 home runs and 93 RBI on that Minnesota title team, while hitting .279 with 30 homers and 90 RBI with Kansas City in 1997.  His best RBI season came in 1993 with California, when he drove in 112 runs and hit 27 round-trippers.  On the all-time switch-hitters list, he continues to rank among the Top 10 leaders in home runs (350, 5th), RBI (1,372, 6th) and walks (1,194, 8th).

After enjoying back-to-back World Series championships with the Yankees, Davis retired after the 1999 season. He entered his coaching career three years later, serving as hitting coach for the Australian National Team in 2003-04.  He was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a part-time instructor in the fall instructional league in 2010 before being named Pawtucket’s hitting coach last season.  Boston’s Triple-A affiliate ranked among the International League leaders in on-base percentage (.335, third), runs scored (657, third), home runs (132, fifth) and slugging percentage (.401, sixth) in 2011.