Luis Ortiz - Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Staff
Ortiz enters first season as Dodgers assistant hitting coach after spending the last three seasons with the San Diego Padres as their field and hitting coordinator. Prior to joining the Padres' organization in 2015, Ortiz spent two seasons as the assistant field coordinator and cultural development coordinator in the Cleveland Indians' player development system. He began his coaching career with the Texas Rangers organization, spending five seasons with the club from 2008-12. The former infielder played professionally for 14 seasons, including four years at the Major League level with the Boston Red Sox (1993-94) and the Texas Rangers (1995-96) after being selected by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 1991 First-Year Player Draft out of Union University (Jackson, TN).
Jeff Albert – Houston Astros MLB Staff
Jeff Albert was named the Astros second hitting coach on Nov. 13, 2017. Albert spent the last five seasons (2013-17) with the Astros organization, including the last four (2014-17) as the Astros minor league hitting coordinator. Prior to that post, Albert served one season (2013) as the club's roving hitting instructor. Prior to joining the Astros, Albert spent five seasons (2008-12) as a hitting coach in the Cardinals minor league system. He began his coaching career as a hitting coach at Class A Short Season Batavia in 2008, where he helped guide the club to a championship season as the MuckDogs offense was shut out just once all year. From Batavia, he was promoted to Class A Advanced Palm Beach, where he spent four seasons as the club's hitting coach (2009-12). Albert graduated from Butler University, and then played professionally in the independent leagues. He went on to earn a Master's degree in exercise science at Louisiana Tech University, where he was involved in various baseball training and research studies, as well as strength and conditioning work with the school's baseball and softball teams. Albert is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and runs swingtraining.net, which is a site dedicated to baseball training and analysis.
Dillon Lawson – Houston Astros MiLB Hitting Coach
In 2018 Lawson joins the Quad City River Bandits, the Houston Astros’ Class-A affiliate of the Midwest League. Prior to the 2018 season Lawson served as the hitting coach at Mizzou for the 2017 season after spending the summer of 2016 as the hitting coach for the Houston Astros' Class-A affiliate Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League. Lawson was a key contributor to Southeast Missouri's success from 2013-15 as he mentored an offense that ranked among the league's best over his three seasons. During his second season with the Redhawks, the offense ranked ninth in the nation in batting and eighth in the nation in runs per game (7.2). His Redhawk offense was even better in 2015, ranking third in the nation in scoring, fifth in runs, sixth in on-base percentage and seventh in home runs. His team also drew the third-most walks in the nation that season and ranked 12th nationally with a .303 team average and in hits. Southeast Missouri averaged 8.0 runs per game and slugged 66 total homers. His contributions to the Redhawk offense caught the eye of the Houston Astros, who hired Lawson away from SEMO in January of 2016 and he served as club's Class A affiliate in Tri-City (New York), a position he has held until joining the staff at Mizzou in the fall of 2016. Lawson, a Louisville, Kentucky native, is a 2007 graduate of Transylvania University with a degree in Exercise Science. Lawson was a four-year starter for the Pioneers earning All-Conference honors as a junior and senior. Lawson received his master's degree in education with an emphasis in strength and conditioning from Lindenwood in 2008. He and his wife, Amanda, welcomed son, Asa "Ace" Dash, on April 29, 2014.
Matt Lawson – Missouri State University Hitting Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
In 2018, Matt Lawson completed his first season as the Missouri State Bears’ hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. Prior to being named to the position of hitting coach/recruiting coordinator, Lawson served as a volunteer assistant and student assistant coach, as well as a graduate manager since his return to his alma mater in 2014. Throughout his variety of roles at Missouri State University from 2014 through the present, Lawson has played a pivotal role in one of the most successful stretches in Missouri State baseball history while working with the Bears’ hitters and infielders. In addition to his time on the Bears’ coaching staff, Lawson has logged a pair of head coaching experiences leading summer league programs. Most recently, he served as field manager and third base coach for the Kalamazoo Growlers of the prestigious Northwoods League in 2016, overseeing game management and player recruitment. Lawson also spent two summers managing the Branson Nationals of the MINK League. Lawson was a 14th-round draft choice of the Texas Rangers in 2007 advancing as far as Triple-A Columbus with the Cleveland Indians organization, hitting a career-best .327 in 2012 with Class AA Akron. Lawson graduated with his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Missouri State in 2015 before finishing a master’s degree in sports management from MSU in the Spring of 2017. Lawson and his wife, Mallory, reside in Springfield with their son, Luke.
Rick Strickland – Owner, Rick Strickland Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals Hitting Consultant
Rick Strickland has spent much of his life focused on the swing of a baseball bat. How it slices, what effect it has on the ball and on the game. Rick has had an illustrious career in America’s favorite sport. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1989 and played until 1993 as both an outfielder and an infielder. He then founded the St. Louis Pirates, a nationally recognized College Development Program, in 1996. Strickland has a special and unique talent for blending data-based technology with traditional baseball wisdom to maximize the development of his players’ swings which has firmly established him as one of the premier hitting minds in the country. In addition to owning and operating St. Louis, MO based Rick Strickland Baseball, Strickland has served as a hitting consultant with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2017.
Jerry Weinstein – Colorado Rockies Player Development Staff
Jerry Weinstein has spent a lifetime in the game of baseball. He has coached at every level including: high school, junior college, the Cape Cod League, MiLB, and the MLB. Currently Weinstein is a Special Assistant, Scouting & Player Development with the Colorado Rockies after spending the 2017 season as the manager for the Rockies’ Double-A team, the Hartford Yard Goats of the Eastern League. During his lifetime spent working in baseball, Weinstein has worked in essentially every capacity known to the game in both the professional and amateur ranks, and without a doubt is one of the all-time greats when it comes to teaching the game. In addition to his professional and collegiate coaching, Weinstein managed Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic while also serving on the coaching staff for USA Baseball in multiple Olympic games.
Jason Ochart – Driveline Baseball
Studied sports science at Vanguard University of Southern California and then coached at Menlo College for three years under Jake McKinley. In his second year at Menlo College, Ochart was promoted to hitting coach. As the hitting coach at Menlo College Ochart applied data and sport science to coaching the hitters and in year one as hitting coach the Menlo College offense set school records in batting average, OBP, SLG, dingers, doubles, runs socred, hits, and wins. Then the following year Ochart's offense at Menlo College again broke the dinger, runs, and walk records. In his three years at Menlo College Ochart had three hitters drafted and eleven hitters total signed professional contracts. Given the offensive success of Menlo College's hitters, Ochart caught the attention of Driveline Baseball's Kyle Boddy via Twitter, who soon hired Ochart to begin the Driveline hitting program.
Jason Hart – Texas Rangers MiLB Hitting Coach
2018 marks Jason Hart’s 10th full season with the Texas Rangers organization as a hitting coach and 7th overall as the team’s Double-A Frisco RoughRiders hitting coach. In 2015, Hart was named the Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year for his work with the ‘Riders hitters. Prior to joining Frisco, Hart spent two seasons as the hitting coach with the Low-A Hickory Crawdads. His tenure with the Rangers began after he assisted the Single-A Clinton staff with coaching responsibilities for a portion of the 2008 season and continued when he accepted the role of hitting coach for the Arizona Rangers prior to the 2009 season. Hart played professionally for parts of eight seasons from 1998-2006, with stints in the Oakland, Texas, and Minnesota organizations. His only action at the Major League level came with the Rangers in 2002. Hard was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 5th Round of the 1998 June draft out of Missouri State University. Hart and his wife, Jenny, have three daughters: Kloe, Camdyn, and Karalina.
Jarrett DeHart – Seattle Mariners MiLB Organizational Hitting Coach
Jarrett DeHart is a young coach still in the infancy of his coaching career, but without a doubt a young coach worth keeping an eye on moving forward, and his passion, energy, and desire to continue to expand his understanding of hitting is a model that all young coaches can learn from. While he has only worn the official title of “Coach” since the fall of 2017 where he was a Student Assistant Coach for Tulane University, his playing career that started at Louisiana State University in 2013-14 and concluded at Tulane where he played from 2015-17 has no doubt prepared him for taking the leap into coaching. In addition to serving as the Student Assistant coach at Tulane for the 2017-18 season, he also worked at Baseball Player Development Systems from 2017-18 as a hitting instructor where he provided instruction to players of all ages and levels. Following his graduation from Tulane University, DeHart accepted a position with the Seattle Mariners as an organizational hitting coach. Despite having such a limited resume in terms of coaching experience, DeHart no doubt has a lot of insight to provide young coaches looking to take the next step in their coaching careers.