Now that all of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies players are retired from their playing days, some are taking on other jobs around baseball. Some in league roles — like Chase Utley — and others in club roles.
Most recently, former Phillies slugger Pat Burrell, 47, has been named the new hitting coach for the San Francisco Giants. Burrell had spent parts of the last four seasons as a minor league hitting instructor within the Giants' organization.
The former Phillies' outfielder spent parts of two seasons in San Francisco before hanging up his cleats after the 2011 campaign. Burrell won his second World Series as a member of the 2010 Giants.
Pat Burrell's Phillies days
Burrell was drafted as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft by the Phillies. He was a highly touted prospect. He made his much-anticipated debut in May of the 2000 season. He was viewed as a player who could change the trajectory of a franchise that had been through some struggles.
The former outfielder delivered for the most part. Over nine seasons with the Phillies, Burrell hit 251 home runs for the club, drove in 827 runs, and posted a 119 OPS+. He was streaky as a hitter — something that seems to be a requirement for Phillies' right-handed batters — and played below-average defense, but his role with the Phillies played a large part in their success in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Phillies fans will remember Burrell for two moments in particular. First, his leadoff double in the seventh inning in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. His hit set up the go-ahead run for the Phillies to win their first World Series in 28 years at that point.
He was also the player chosen to lead the World Championship parade down Broad Street on Halloween of that year. Both the club and Burrell knew that he wouldn't be re-signed after the 2008 season. It was a classy way for the Phillies to let a beloved player go out on top.
It's good to see Burrell back in baseball. In September, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a piece on the former Phillie's life after baseball. The former No. 1 pick stated that life after baseball could be a struggle. Now he's back and fully invested in helping players reach their offensive potential.
He certainly has enough experience to pass on to current players.