The Angels have announced two new members of their coaching staff, as Johnny Washington has been hired as the Halos’ hitting coach and Jerry Narron will be the new Major League catching coach.
The 39-year-old Washington has been the Cubs’ assistant hitting coach for the last two seasons, coming off a one-year stint in South Korea for the KBO League’s Hanwha Eagles. Before that trip abroad, Washington was a longtime coach in the minor leagues with the Dodgers and Padres, and San Diego promoted him to the big league staff in 2017 to act as the first base coach and eventually the hitting coach.
There’s no relation between the new hitting coach and new Angels manager Ron Washington, and the two just missed crossing paths during Johnny’s playing career, as his time as a prospect in the Rangers’ farm system ended just before Ron became the Texas manager prior to the 2007 season. However, the Angels have had Johnny Washington on their radar in the past, as they interviewed him for their managerial vacancy in the 2019-20 offseason before eventually hiring Joe Maddon.
Under ex-hitting coach Marcus Thames (who is now taking over the hitting coach job with the White Sox), the Angels had mostly decent to middle-of-the-pack batting numbers across the board in 2023. Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout naturally contributed to lot of the offense, and L.A. got good results from Luis Rengifo, Taylor Ward, and Brandon Drury, though injuries plagued the Halos on the whole. 2024 could be a transformative year in Anaheim if Ohtani departs in free agency, so Washington’s to-do list includes continued development for younger bats like Nolan Schanuel and Logan O’Hoppe, and seeing if Anthony Rendon can get his bat back on track if the third baseman can finally avoid the injury bug.
Narron celebrates his 68th birthday in January, and he brings almost 50 years of experience as a player, coach, manager, and several other roles at the Major League and minor league levels. Narron is best known for his two stints as a big league manager, helming the Rangers in 2001-02 and the Reds from 2005-07. He played for the then-California Angels from 1983-86, and he was back in the organization last year as a minor league catching coordinator.