According to a rival GM, Former New York Mets’ pitcher Jeremy Hefner seems set to become the team’s new pitching coach.
Andy Martino of SNY is reporting that a rival GM has predicted the Mets will hire Jeremy Hefner.
A rival GM predicted Mets will hire pitching coach candidate Jeremy Hefner, and said he wanted Hefner too but it didn’t work out
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) November 11, 2019
Hefner spent only two seasons in the majors during his playing career. Both of which he spent with the Mets in 2012 and 2013. During the 2013 season, Hefner tore his UCL and had Tommy John surgery. Something his career couldn’t rebound from.
If you don’t remember who Jeremy Hefner is, maybe this will jog your memory:
He came back to baseball in 2018 as an advance scout with the Minnesota Twins. In 2019 he was promoted to assistant pitching coach working directly under Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson.
With Hefner on board the Twins pitching staff improved drastically. In 2018 the Twins staff was eighth in the AL in pitching FWAR, but with Hefner on board in 2019 they jumped all the way to second in the AL.
This isn’t the first time the Mets tried to bring Hefner back to New York either. Prior to the 2019 season, the Mets attempted to bring in Hefner as their bullpen coach. Hefner declined and Ricky Bones kept the job on an interim basis.
Hefner’s coaching style is heavily reliant on advanced analytics. Since retiring he has focused on learning the new wave of statistics and how to best implement them. He is now regarded as one of the most analytically savvy coaches in all of baseball.
If the Mets do hire Hefner it would be further proof of Brodie Van Wagenen‘s bold nature. With a rookie manager in Carlos Beltran coming on board many in the media have speculated that the pitching coach might be the most important hire the team makes.
That’s due to the simple fact that Beltran has no experience coaching pitchers. So, whoever the pitching coach is will likely have the power to coach the pitchers however they like.
This has led many to believe that the Mets would target an experienced pitching coach with proven success, like Phil Regan. Regan was the Mets pitching coach for the majority of the 2019 season and helped turn around the Mets pitching staff.
Yet, it seems he won’t be returning in that capacity. Instead, the Mets are focusing on younger inexperienced candidates. Hefner is just 33-years old and has only one year of coaching experience. He has never been a pitching coach at any level.
Much like Carlos Beltran, Jeremy Hefner would be a gamble on an up-and-coming coaching candidate with a lot of buzz around him.