Powell, Young key additions to Giants' staff

Powell, Young key additions to Giants' staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- New Giants coaches Alonzo Powell and Curt Young might indeed be steeped in baseball analytics, but they also seemed grounded in the game's old-fashioned basics.

Introduced on Monday via conference call to beat reporters, hitting instructor Powell and pitching guru Young spoke of the need for a balanced approach when imparting knowledge.

Referring to the world of barrels, launch angles and exit velocities, Powell said, "You have to understand information that's out there, but you also have to understand how to utilize that information. You don't want to flood your players with too much information."

Formerly serving as assistant hitting coach for the World Series champion Astros, the 52-year-old Powell sounded downright old-school as he referred to AT&T Park's hitter-unfriendly environs.

"We have to find hits. We have to find walks. We have to find a way to get on base to keep the chain moving to the next guy," Powell said. "You have to understand that the NL West is one of the hardest places to hit in baseball. We have to do the little things to compete -- whatever it takes to get on base, get a runner over, get a runner in. Those are the things we're going to have to be efficient at if we're going to succeed like we want to succeed."

Young, 57, spent 12 1/2 seasons with the statistically conscious A's. But he showed no bias toward any discipline by saying, "There's going to be a definite mix of both -- just common sense and what it takes to be a great pitcher, and anything that we can learn from the numbers side of it."

Interestingly, Giants general manager Bobby Evans pointed out that Powell and Young were recommended by the men they replaced -- Hensley Meulens and Dave Righetti, respectively. Meulens became San Francisco's bench coach, while Righetti shifted into an advisory position emphasizing in pitching under Evans.

This won't be Young's first coaching experience on a Bruce Bochy-led staff. Young served as Bochy's pitching coach during a postseason tour to Taiwan featuring select Major Leaguers in 2011.

As a native San Franciscan, Powell had a head start in absorbing Giants culture. The former big league outfielder recalled attending a Giants game at Candlestick Park as a youth with his grandfather, who told him all he needed to know: "If you want to be a good player, watch this guy out in center field, number 24." Thus, Powell joined the ranks of Willie Mays acolytes.

Worth noting
• Evans said first baseman Brandon Belt is expected to have a "normal" offseason after receiving a clean bill of health from team physicians. A concussion forced Belt to miss the season's final 51 games.

Belt's two-run home run

• Removal of a steel plate from outfielder Jarrett Parker's right shoulder and the insertion of a similar stabilizing object in infielder Christian Arroyo's left hand forced the pair to end their winter ball commitments prematurely, Evans said. Arroyo is ranked as the Giants' No. 1 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.