Corey Hart returns to Brevard County in 2009 for his third season as hitting coach for the Manatees. Hart is entering his fourth season as a coach in the Brewers organization. Corey hit .242 with 32 home runs and 248 RBI during his eight-year minor league career. Today we talked with Corey to learn more about coaching at the minor league level.
What position(s) did you play during your playing career?
I played every position on the field except center field and catcher. I mostly played infield, primarily shortstop, second base, and third base.
Do you think there are any certain positions that are better for the development of a manager/coach?
I would like to think that the best position for developing a coach would probably be a catcher. They have to be able to control the game, the whole pitching staff, and be a leader.
What was your favorite moment as a player?
Winning the 2005 PCL championship in my very last game as a player. Also, playing in Major League Spring Training game and hitting a home run off one of my good friends that I had played with for several years prior.
How did you get into coaching?
I went to Spring Training with the Brewers in 2006. Halfway through camp, I was released on a Friday and offered the Brevard County hitting coach job at same time. I interviewed on Saturday and was coaching on Sunday.
What is your favorite part of coaching?
Watching the players develop and get better over the course of the year after all of their hard work.
What is your biggest challenge as a coach?
Being able to know exactly what is going wrong with all the hitters' swings in a part of the game that happens really, really fast.
What was your best moment as a coach?
Playing catch with my son Camden during father and son time while coaching in the 2008 Florida State League All-Star Game.
Is there anyone you would consider your mentor?
My father Tom Hart and Brewers Hitting Coordinator Mike Lum (only person to ever pinch hit for Hank Aaron).
At this level, do you need to work with players more on their physical or mental approach at the plate?
Early in the season, there is a huge need for physical work, but there is always a great need for working on the mental approach.
Do you ever advise players to take a different approach in Space Coast Stadium due to the deep fences and windy conditions?
Definitely! Especially for right-handed hitters. You are not going to hit many home runs in this park. Your approach has to be to hit the ball up the middle and the opposite field, trying to drive the ball to right-center field. The grass is very long on the infield at Space Coast Stadium, so with the wind and the long grass, you better hit a lot of line drives.
Do you think working in a traditionally pitching-dominated league like the FSL makes your job tougher?
Yes, because a person's job is always easier when everyone is having a lot of success. This is a game of failure, and the best hitters in the league barely hit .300. When hitters' numbers aren't up to their expectations, they think they have to work harder.
What is your favorite place to go for dinner in Brevard County?
Carrabba's when the brass is in town and they pick up the check.
What are some of your pastimes during the offseason?
Playing with my sons Camden and Carson, and having family days where my wife Stacy, the boys, and I run all over town getting into anything and everything.
Any predictions for this season?
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.