The Mets have officially announced their 2022 coaching staff, with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner as the only returning member of the last year’s coaching corps. Many of the new hires had already been reported in recent weeks, with hitting coach Eric Chavez, first base coach Wayne Kirby, third base coach Joey Cora, and bench coach Glenn Sherlock all joining forces on Buck Showalter’s staff for the veteran manager’s first year in the Mets dugout.
Joining this group are two other coaches, one a newcomer to the Mets organization and the other a familiar face. Jeremy Barnes will become the assistant hitting coach, receiving a promotion from his previous role as New York’s director of player initiatives. Craig Bjornson will act as bullpen coach, coming to Queens after most recently working three seasons as the Red Sox bullpen coach.
Phillies fans may remember Barnes as a member of the Philadelphia farm system from 2009-12, after Barnes was selected in the 11th round of the 2009 draft. Barnes then moved on to play the next three seasons in independent baseball and in the Australian Baseball League, remaining in Australia for two more years to work for ACT Baseball after his playing career was over. From there, Barnes returned to North America and spent four years working in the Astros’ farm system as a hitting coach and as a minor league hitting coordinator.
Bjornson also has ties to the Astros, working as Houston’s bullpen coach in five of six seasons from 2012-17. Before his time with the Red Sox and Astros, Bjornson spent 13 seasons as a minor league pitching coach with four different organizations.
With Showalter’s staff now complete, the group represents an interesting mix of old-school experience and newer-school approaches. Bjornson, Kirby, Cora, and Sherlock are all seasoned big league coaches, while this will be Barnes’ first time on a Major League staff and Chavez’s first coaching gig of any kind. Even Hefner is still relatively new to the coaching world, as the 35-year-old has been the Mets’ pitching coach for the last two seasons and a Twins assistant pitching coach in 2019.