Returns for his 5th season as Nationals' hitting coach...has helped to establish Washington's lineup as one of the NL's top offensive units over the last 4 seasons...during '12 NL East Championship season, Washington's offense ranked among NL leaders with 194 home runs (2nd), a .428 slugging percentage (3rd), 301 doubles (3rd), a .750 OPS (4th), a .261 batting average (4th) and 1468 hits (4th)...guided offense to 731 runs scored (5th in NL) in 2012, as the Nationals posted MLB's top run differential at +137...194 home runs last season were the most hit by a team representing the Nation's Capital (1901-71, 2005-pres.) and the most hit in the 44-year history of the Nationals/Expos franchise...collectively, Washington's infield (excluding pitcher and catcher) hit an MLB-best 109 home runs, while Adam LaRoche (33) and Ian Desmond (25) paced their positions in homers...has coached Adam LaRoche ('12), Ian Desmond ('12), Stephen Strasburg ('12) and Ryan zimmerman (2009-10) to Silver Slugger citations...2013 marks 9th with Nationals/Expos, 17th in baseball as a member of a major league, minor league or collegiate staff...served as hitting coach with organization's Triple-A affiliate in Columbus in 2008...was with the Nationals for brief assignment in Sept. '08...was hitting coach for Triple-A Memphis in STL organization in '07, after 3 seasons as hitting coach in Expos organization from 2004-06...spent big-league time as bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher with TBR ('99) and MIN ('00-01)...coached collegiately with the University of Florida, University of Georgia and Seminole (FL) C.C.
INTERNATIONAL BASEBALL EXPERIENCE
Was affiliated with USA Baseball from 2005-08...served as bench coach for USA Olympic Team at 2008 Beijing Games in China...was bench/3rd base coach in 2005 at IBAF Baseball World Cup (Netherlands) and Regional Olympic qualifying Tournament (Phoenix, Az)...held same position at 2006 Americas Olympic qualifying Tournament (Cuba) and IBAF Baseball World Cup (Japan), and was bullpen coach for Team USA at 2006 World Baseball Classic...coached alongside Nationals skipper Davey Johnson (bench coach) in the '06 WBC...has also enjoyed appointments as bullpen catcher for MLB's Japan All-Star Tour in 2002 and for NL at the 2005 MLB All-Star Game at DET's Comerica Park.
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE
Spent 5 seasons as a hitting coach at the minor league level, 4 coming in the Nationals/Expos chain...was hitting coach for Triple-A Columbus in the Nationals' organization in '08, gaining exposure to Washington's talented young hitters...prior to one-year hiatus in STL organization with Triple-A Memphis in 2007, spent 3 campaigns with Nationals/Expos from 2004-06...was hitting coach for Triple-A New Orleans in 2006 and short-season Vermont in 2005...served final month of 2004 season as hitting coach with Double-A Harrisburg, spelling Rob Ducey, who participated in Athens Summer Olympics for Team Canada...coached at the University of Georgia from '02-03 and at the University of Florida from 1996-98...held coaching spot with Seminole CC (FL) briefly in 2000.
Rick Eckstein...graduated from the University of Florida in 1997 with degree in Health and Human Performance...had career ended by injury after playing collegiately at Florida in 1996...played alongside brother David Eckstein-who enjoyed a 10-year career as a big-league infielder-and Gators teammates Mark Ellis, Brad Wilkerson, Josh Fogg and Dan Wheeler...before transferring to the University of Florida, began college career with Seminole (FL) Community College...graduated from Seminole (FL) High in 1991...participated in baseball and golf during prep tenure...is involved philanthropically with National Kidney Foundation in Washington DC...in December 2010, donated kidney to brother, Ken...recently married to Caroline Fitzpatrick...enjoys surfing and golf.