The 2016 season marks Kevin Seitzer's second on the Braves' coaching staff. He previously served as the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.
Seitzer, 54, served as the hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals for four seasons (2009-12) and the Arizona Diamondbacks for one season (2007).
Under Seitzer's guidance, the Braves' team batting average improved 10 points from 2014 to 2015 (.241 to .251). Despite the off-season departures of such sluggers as Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Jason Heyward, Atlanta's 2015 run total (573) was equal to 2014. The 2015 Braves led the National League with a rate of per 5.45 plate appearances per strikeout, compared to 4.43 PA/K in 2014 (13th in NL).
The 2014 Blue Jays ranked fourth in the American League in runs scored and ranked third in home runs. While with Kansas City, Seitzer helped the 2010 Royals post a .274 team batting average, which ranked second in the Majors, while posting the fewest strikeouts, with 905 (the Major League average that year was 1,144). The 2011 Royals ranked fourth in the Majors with a .275 team batting average and the 2012 club finished seventh at .265.
Seitzer enjoyed a 12-year Major League career as a third baseman and first baseman with the Royals (1986-91), Milwaukee Brewers (1992, '93-96), Oakland Athletics (1993) and Cleveland Indians (1996-97). He compiled a lifetime batting average of .295, with 285 doubles, 35 triples, 75 home runs and 613 RBI. Seitzer hit .300 or better in seven different seasons.
A two-time American League All-Star (1987 and 1995), he finished second in the 1987 A.L. Rookie of the Year balloting to Mark McGwire. Seitzer holds Royals rookie records for hits (207) and walks (80) and his hit total led the league that season as well.
Seitzer made his Major League debut with the Royals on September 3, 1986, against the Chicago White Sox. He had six hits in a game on August 2, 1987 vs. Boston. He appeared in the postseason twice with Cleveland, in 1996 and '97, including a World Series trip with the Tribe in 1997.
A native of Springfield, Ill., he attended Eastern Illinois University and was selected by the Royals in the 11th round of the 1983 draft. At Eastern Illinois, Seitzer notched a career .418 batting average. He hit over .400 in each of his three seasons at EIU, playing one season at NCAA Division II and two seasons at NCAA Division I. As a freshman, he helped the Panthers finish as the NCAA Division II National Runner-Up, being named to the All-Tournament team. He ended his EIU playing days as the career leader in hits, doubles and batting average. Seitzer's EIU uniform No. 2 was retired by the school on October 13, 2012, and he was also honored as a Distinguished Alumnus. He earned his degree from EIU in 1985.
Kevin and his wife Beth reside in Leawood, Kan. They have four children, with two who have played professionally. Nick (Graffeo) played in the Royals system and Cam is currently in the Rays system. Along with former teammate Mike Macfarlane, Seitzer owns and operates Mac-N-Seitz baseball and softball training facility in Kansas City.