More than six weeks after Eric Chavez jumped ship to become the hitting coach of the New York Mets, the New York Yankees announced this afternoon that they’ve hired Hensley Meulens, better known as “Bam Bam,” to serve as the team’s new assistant hitting coach under fellow new hitting coach Dillon Lawson.
Meulens’ hiring concludes a turbulent offseason for Aaron Boone’s coaching staff, which sees only bench coach Carlos Mendoza, pitching coach Matt Blake, bullpen coach Mike Harkey, and catching coach Tanner Swanson return. The hitting corps has undergone quite the upheaval in particular, with the team opening the winter by parting ways with Marcus Thames and assistant P. J. Pilittere; they then promoted Lawson and Casey Dykes from the minor leagues staffs and added Chavez, only to see Chavez receive the Mets job just a few weeks later. They then proceeded to conduct a new search, seeking to have a former player like Chavez join Lawson and Dykes’ team.
Eric Hinske and Devin Mesoraco were among the familiar names considered, but Meulens was picked for the job:
By bringing in Meulens, the Yankees not only add a former player but an experienced coach to their staff. “Bam Bam” has been coaching at a professional level in some capacity since his time with the Bluefield Orioles in 2003. Bruce Bochy chose Meulens as his hitting coach for the Giants in 2010 and he remained in that role for each of their three championship teams. He was also the skipper for the Netherlands during their two most recent World Baseball Classic berths in 2013 and 2017.
Meulens was even a finalist for the Yankees managerial position after they let Joe Girardi walk following the 2017 season. When the Yankees went with Boone instead, the Giants bumped him up anyway to bench coach, and he only departed when Bochy walked away as well after 2019. Most recently, Meulens served as the Mets’ bench coach during the 2020 campaign — the same team that current third base coach Luis Rojas managed.
This will not be Meulens’ first foray in the Yankees’ organization, either. Longtime fans will remember that Meulens signed with the Yankees out of Curaçao as an undrafted free agent in 1985, making his Major League debut four years later. He played parts of five seasons with the Yankees, slashing .221/.290/.344 in 159 games in that time.
Welcome back to the Bronx, Bam Bam.