Hensley Meulens is in a new role with the Giants. After serving as the team's hitting coach from 2010 to 2017, Meulens is shifting his baseball knowledge to the bench in 2018.
Even though he won't primarily deal with hitters and their approach, Meulens had a loud voice in the next man to do his former job. So, why was Meulens so adamant about the Giants hiring Alonzo Powell?
First and foremost, trust.
"Well, you know, I've known 'Zo for 30 years," Meulens said Saturday on KNBR. "We played together in independent ball, we played at the same time in Japan, so we're similar. I think he's a guy that's a grinder, a guy that's been all over the place.
"He's won two straight batting titles in Japan, which is difficult to do as a foreign player. ... I trust him and I trust that he can gain the players' trust and that's an important thing. That's the most important thing when you're trying to get across to the hitter. Does he trust me? Can I talk to him?"
After being signed by the Giants out of Lincoln High School in 1983 and struggling in the majors for two seasons between the Expos and Mariners, Powell starred in Japan. Over seven seasons in Japan, Powell batted .313/.371/.510 with 116 home runs.
The 53-year-old was the assistant hitting coach on last season's World Series-winning Astros. Meulens believes Powell, along with new assistant hitting coach Rick Schu, can lead a revamped lineup with more of an analytical approach.
"I think in both places they used the sabermetrics a little more than we used to over here," Meulens said. "The approach is going to be whatever they implement, I don't know.
"I know it's [the teaching] not going to change too much, but we can have a potent offense."
The Giants' offense was at or near the bottom of baseball in multiple categories last year while Powell and Schu helped lead potent attacks in Houston and Washington respectively.