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Magadan takes over as Rangers' hitting coach

The SportsXchange

In nearly 18 months as the Rangers' hitting instructor, Scott Coolbaugh oversaw an offense that ranked first in the majors in runs per game, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

This would normally be enough to get a coach a raise.

Instead it got him reassigned.

Acknowledging something -- even if it wasn't clearly identifiable -- was wrong with the offense in 2012, the Rangers hired Dave Magadan on Oct. 19 to take over as hitting instructor. Coolbaugh, who had been the Triple-A Round Rock hitting instructor before replacing Thad Bosley in June 2011, was offered another position within the organization. As of Nov. 1, however, there still had been no resolution on his future.

Magadan's immediate task is to improve the Rangers' offensive efficiency.

"This is not singling out Scott Coolbaugh," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We just thought we had a chance to get one of the best in the business. We're just looking at what we could accomplish to get better. There's not one thing he did or did not do."

Magadan may have a resume more suited to dealing with the Rangers' roster. As Boston's hitting coach since 2007, he oversaw a team with some well-established veterans and plenty of young talent, such as Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Rangers have a similar mix with veterans such as DH Michael Young and 2B Ian Kinsler coming off subpar years and young players such as INF Jurickson Profar and OF Leonys Martin. Martin, a left-handed hitter is similar to Ellsbury and could become a major project for Magadan, particularly if OF Josh Hamilton does not return for 2013.

"When he first came up, as you see with a lot of young hitters, he was a little passive, he was trying to do the right thing," Magadan said of Ellsbury. "We talked to him about having an aggressive attitude that says you are going to swing unless your eyes tell you it's a ball. He got more aggressive in the zone and, as a result, he started swinging at more strikes and his power really came through."

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