By Jenny Masters

The Phis new hitting coach Kevin Long is already headed to the spring training complex in Clearwater, where he’ll get an early start on working with Alec Bohm, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly.

Bohm, 25, looked good in the heart of the Phillies’ order in 2020 when he hit .338/.400/.481 in 180 plate appearances as a rookie. He slashed only a .247/.305/.342 slash in 417 trips to the plate this season, however, and eventually found himself optioned to Triple-A.

Long, previously the hitting coach for the Yankees, Mets and Nationals, notes that young players are “really, really important to big-market teams,” as they can offset the cost of high-priced free agents and arbitration-eligible players.

Long calls Bohm “one of the best hitters in the league in 2020” and suggests that Bohm “is a big part of the Philadelphia Phillies and us winning a championship.” Dombrowski acknowledged at season’s end that Bohm probably won’t win any Gold Gloves at the hot corner (link via 97.3 ESPN) but can be a bat-first option for the team moving forward. “His key is he has to hit. If he hits well enough, you’ll live with the defensive aspect of it,” said Dombrowski.