RedHawks hitting coach helps keep averages, spirits high

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 11:05 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are second in the league in team batting totals as well as second in hits and in runs scored with more than 250 so far this season. Behind the scenes, the Hawks hitting coach works with the guys each day to keep their averages and their spirits up.

“You’re kind of almost like a therapist,” Anthony Renz said of his job as hitting coach for the RedHawks. “When you’re here, it’s more working through a conversation with professionals. Sure we could get into teaching things but most of these guys know how to hit, I’m not going to teach them anything that they don’t already know.”

But Renz does give them something they need at this level.

“I mean he’s there for us literally whenever we need him,” Hawks infielder Correlle Prime explained. “To flip, to throw. He’ll throw all day, he’ll flip all day. He’ll throw BP. Hit fungo literally all day. He’s been an instrumental part of my success here as a RedHawk. Very instrumental. Him and Coste obviously.”

Renz joined the RedHawks coaching staff in 2018 after a brief career playing Independent League baseball. As he stepped in as hitting coach, he admits he was a little hesitant.

“From the beginning, I was really worried about my resume,” Renz said. “Especially my playing resume. I’m talking with Correlle Prime, Leo Pina, guys that have played at a high level. I have 20 at-bats in Independent ball and I have three hits. So not exactly the master of hitting. But I think, honestly, those failures kind of allow you to become a better coach.”

“Once the players realize that you’re here to help them,” Renz continued, “they don’t care where you came from, what you do. That’s the number one goal.”

Manager Chris Coste helped secure his confidence as well.

“I think the conversations I had with Coster at a very early stage when I first got here, kind of helped me settle in because that helped prove that maybe I did know a little more about the game than other people may have thought when I first got here.”

Experience and confidence aside, Renz has mastered the most important factor in his role.

Gaining the confidence of the roster.

“Life’s all about relationships and he starts that day one, he’s building that relationship with his guys,” Prime said of Renz. “You know, as the season goes on and he sees us, he’s that extra set of eyes.”

“It depends on the guy honestly. There are some guys, Jordan George for example, we’ve talked about hitting at length, several times in the cage. Doing flips and tee work and stuff and then there are other guys that come to me, ‘hey was I late on that pitch?’ ‘Yea you were.’ And that’s all they needed to know,” Renz said. “It’s my job to maybe sometimes give them as much information, but not make it information overload. Give them as much, as whatever they need to be prepared for that game. Whether it’s a scouting report, who we’re facing, what a guy does particularly well on the opposing team.”

His individualized approach, paired with a loose demeanor and his willingness to help has made him invaluable to the players. Plus the success at the plate has spoken volumes.

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