ANAHEIM, CA - The Angels Tuesday announced that Rick Eckstein will join the organization as the club's Major League Player Information Coach in 2014. The announcement was made by General Manager Jerry Dipoto.
"We are very excited to bring Rick Eckstein on board to our coaching staff," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has an incredible understanding of many aspects of baseball and will help us in a variety of ways. Rick will integrate scouting reports and have input on the defensive side of our team, as well as pre-game preparation."
Eckstein, 40, joins the Angels coaching staff after spending the past five seasons as the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals. In 2012, he helped the Nats offense rank among the top of the National League in several offensive categories and the club's 194 home runs established a new franchise record en route to the club's first National League Eastern division championship.
2014 will mark Eckstein's first year with the Angels and 18th overall in professional baseball as a member of a major league, minor league or collegiate coaching staff. Eckstein spent nine seasons overall coaching in the Montreal/Washington organization, having served as a minor league hitting coach from 2004-06 and 2008. During the 2007 campaign, he was the hitting coach for Triple-A Memphis in the St. Louis organization. Additionally, he has spent time at the big level as a bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher with Tampa Bay (1999) and Minnesota (2000-01).
Eckstein was affiliated with USA Baseball from 2005-2008 and served as the bench coach for the bronze-medal winning United States team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He was also the bench coach for the United States during the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
He played collegiately at the University of Florida before having his career ended by an injury in 1996. He began his coaching career with the Gators that season and has additionally coached collegiately at the University of Georgia (2002-03) and Seminole (FL) Community College (2000).
Eckstein resides in Sanford, FL with his wife Caroline and daughter Isabel. His brother David played 10 big league seasons, including four (2001-04) with the Angels, including the World Championship club of 2002.