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Mets appoint Luis Natera as assistant hitting coach

The organizational loyalist, who has spent twenty-some years with the club as a player and coach, will finally get a chance with the big club.

Hitting coach Dave Hudgens will have a deputy this season.
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens will have a deputy this season.

The Mets announced today that Luis Natera has been named assistant hitting coach to Dave Hudgens, a hitherto nonexistent position on the Mets’ coaching staff, though one that many other teams carry.

Natera has been the hitting coach with the Mets’ Double-A affiliate in Binghamton for the last six years—though he spent part of 2009 with Triple-A Buffalo until a thoroughgoing lack of team offense led to his demotion—before which he was a Class-A hitting coach with the Mets for seven seasons (Kingsport Mets: 2003–2004; Hagerstown Suns: 2005–2006; St. Lucie Mets: 2007). He played for five seasons as a Mets minor leaguer from 1984 to 1988, hitting .222/.281/.274 as a middle infielder, though he never played higher than A-ball. He also coached the organization’s Dominican Summer League team.

Perpetual Mets critic Andy Martino suggests that some players were lobbying for George Greer, hitting coach at Triple-A Las Vegas, to get the assistant spot with the big club.