The Giants are hiring former Brewers and Pirates assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz as an assistant hitting coordinator, according to a report from Robert Murray of FanSided. The club has not confirmed the report.
Still, Cruz’s arrival could help the Giants fill the void left by hitting coordinator Michael Brdar, who recently accepted a position as Bob Melvin’s hitting coach with the Padres.
Cruz, 48, is familiar with the Giants organization, as he was selected by San Francisco in the first round (32nd overall) in the 1994 Draft out of Arizona State University. He broke into the Majors with the Giants in 1996 and spent parts of three seasons with the club before being traded to Cleveland with Steve Reed in exchange for Shawon Dunston, José Mesa and Alvin Morman on July 23, 1998.
A former outfielder and first baseman, Cruz also played for the Rockies, Tigers and Reds over his nine-year career in the Majors, compiling a .241/.331/.377 batting line with 19 home runs in 842 plate appearances.
Cruz transitioned to coaching in 2010 and worked in the D-backs and Cubs organizations before joining the Pirates’ Major League staff as an assistant hitting coach in '19. Cruz spent one season in Pittsburgh before taking on the same role with the Brewers, who dismissed him and hitting coach Andy Haines as part of a coaching shakeup in October.
Haines’ brother, Kyle, currently works as the Giants’ director of player development, which could have helped Cruz land on San Francisco’s radar. In addition to his coaching experience, Cruz is a small business owner and the inventor of the LineDrivePro Swing Path Trainer, which helps hitters get a feel for their proper bat paths.