Boston hired former Major League player and Minor League instructor Greg Colbrunn to be its new hitting coach. Colbrunn has worked for New York's Class A affiliate in Charleston the last six seasons; he was the RiverDogs manager in 2010 before returning as the team's batting coach in '11 and '12.
Colbrunn, 43, is the fifth addition to the Red Sox's staff since the Oct. 21 acquisition of Blue Jays manager John Farrell. He played 13 seasons with seven MLB teams and retired in 2004 with a career .289 batting average and .338 on-base percentage.
At Charleston this year, Colbrunn worked with each of the Yankees' top three -- and five of their top 10 -- prospects. Top-ranked Gary Sanchez, a catcher, batted .297 and hit 13 home runs in 68 games; center fielder Mason Williams hit .304 in 67 games; and Tyler Austin, the surprise of the three, batted .320 with 14 longballs in 70 games. All three were promoted midway though the season.
In addition to shortstop Cito Culver, who has dropped out of the Yanks' Top 20 Prospects, eighth- and ninth-ranked prospects Angelo Gumbs and Dante Bichette Jr. struggled at times in 2012. Culver and Bichette, who were New York's first-round draftees in 2010 and '11 respectively, batted just .215 and and .248 respectively. Each played in 122 games for the RiverDogs.