Jeremy Hefner is one of the most analytically guided pitching coaches in baseball. His approach has impressed New York Mets’ pitchers.
Jeremy Hefner is the youngest pitching coach in MLB. He didn’t get his first job in an MLB front office until 2018 when he became an advanced scout for the Minnesota Twins. By 2019, he was the assistant pitching coach in Minnesota. Now he’s the New York Mets pitching coach.
The reason for his meteoric rise as a coach is his understanding of analytics. He dove deep into analytics and how to coach them since retiring. He’s now considered one of the best analytically-minded pitching coaches in baseball.
He’s taken that mindset and put it to work early on in his tenure with the Mets. Steven Matz explained just that to SNY.
“It’s been really good,” Matz said. “I think he’s really good at communicating some of that analytics stuff to us and translating it to us in a way where we can actually take action in it. Some of that stuff, as new as it is, it’s hard to translate to ‘Okay, how do I do that on the mound?’ and that’s something that I think he’s really good at.”
That’s not an easy thing to do. Most players are dismissive of analytics in MLB. They look at it as another set of numbers. It’s not something they can tangibly do anything with.
That’s why having someone like Hefner who understands how to make it accessible and put it into practice is so huge. It’s a skill that not everyone in baseball has.
Matz explained why he was hesitant to trust analytics at first and how Hefner fixed that.
“I think I was hesitant towards it because you see all these numbers and you don’t want to change anything because you know what you did that got you here. So, all of a sudden this new stuff is coming along and you’re like ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to start changing everything now,’ so I think that’s the big thing. Those numbers can show that little adjustments really actually do help a lot, so that’s something big with (analytics).”
It’ll be interesting to see if Hefner and his new analytical approach take the New York Mets pitchers to new heights.