Giants

Giants

Barry Bonds spent 22 years playing major league baseball for the Giants and Pirates, where he smashed the all-time record of 762 home runs.

His numbers sit at the top of many offensive lists in baseball history. Starting Friday, he's hoping to improve an offense in a different way at 51 years old. 

This offseason, Bonds was hired in a different role he's never had full-time for a professional baseball team.

The Miami Marlins named Bonds the team's hitting coach. He will also split duties with co-hitting coach Frank Menechino. 

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"You can't help but be excited, just to be able to talk to him and soak up the knowledge," Derek Dietrich said to the Miami Herald. "As a left-handed power hitter, I couldn't ask for any more, personally." 

Miami's offense was near the bottom of baseball in multiple categories last season. They finished second to only the Braves in home runs (236) and runs scored (613). 

One of the young players the Marlins will try to find more power from, is 24-year-old left fielder Christian Yelich. 

"You don't want to say that he perfected the craft. But he came as close as you probably can to perfecting hitting. He's got a ton of knowledge and it will be nice to learn from somebody like that," said Yelich.

 

In three seasons with the Marlins, Yelich has only hit 20 home runs. His career-high is nine, which he hit in 2014.

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The brightest star in many eyes for the Marlins last season was second baseman Dee Gordon. To Gordon, Bonds' impact could be felt most by slugging All-Star Giancarlo Stanton. 

"I think for our best player, which is Giancarlo, he's going to help him reach his full potential, if he hasn't reached it already," Gordon said.

Stanton has battled injuries, but has already been named an All-Star three times in his young career. Through six seasons in the bigs, Stanton has blasted 181 home runs. 

Bonds hit 142 home runs in his first six seasons in the majors.

"I think he can help him become an even better superstar and the pressures that come with it," Gordon said on Stanton learning from Bonds.

Gordon, who enjoyed his best offensive season of his career in his first year with the Marlins in 2015, also recalled a comical story from the 2004 All-Star Game. Dee's father Tom was a reliever for the Yankees that season and named to the AL All-Star team. Young Dee came along for the ride at 16 years old.

“I tried to rob his homer in the Home Run Derby," Gordon remembered. “I tried. It didn’t work. He hit it too far and too high. It went a few rows back, but it felt close for a kid.”