Former Phillies slugger resurfaces as Mets minor-league hitting coach


Tommy Joseph, the power-hitting first baseman who shared time with Ryan Howard on the 2016 and 2017 Phillies, has been hired as hitting coach by the Class A St. Lucie Mets.

Joseph played two seasons for the Phillies, hitting 21 homers in 347 plate appearances in ‘16 and 22 homers in 533 plate appearances in ‘17. Altogether, he hit .247/.297/.460 as a big-leaguer. He’d have stuck around longer had he gotten on base at a better clip.

Joseph was the centerpiece of the Phillies’ return when they traded Hunter Pence to San Francisco at the 2012 deadline. He originally came up through the Giants’ system as a catcher, and at one point, he was one of the most highly regarded offensive prospects behind the plate. A series of concussions (he suffered one in at least three different seasons) forced him to switch positions.

After leaving the Phils, Joseph spent 2018 in the minors with the Rangers, then signed with the LG Twins in Korea for 2019. He was waived in July of that year and returned to the States, playing 13 games at Double A for the Red Sox. Last year, he played in the Constellation Energy League, a four-team independent league that operated in Texas because of 2020 COVID restrictions. He retired after the season.

The first-year manager of that St. Lucie team will be former big-league infielder Reid Brignac, a Phillie in 2014. The pitching coach will be Jerome Williams, who played here with Brignac. Williams appeared in 42 games (30 starts) with a 4.84 ERA for those pitching-challenged Phillies teams of 2014 and ‘15.

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