The 43-year-old Colbrunn, who played 13 seasons in the majors, has spent the past six years with the Yankees' Single-A affiliate, Charleston RiverDogs, where he was hitting coach from 2007-09 and in 2011 and '12. He managed Charleston in 2010. The 2012 RiverDogs finished fourth in the 14-team South Atlantic League with a .268 team batting average.
"As we've done with every position on the staff, we looked to find people that had great communication skills, that had a very solid personal experience level to tap into," Farrell said during a conference call Wednesday. "It became very clear that not only does (Colbrunn) have a wealth of knowledge as far as hitting goes, but the ability to relate in the interview process, (and) we felt like that would certainly carry over to dealing with our hitters. His fundamental approach or approach to hitting is aligned with what we value. All things considered, this became a very clear choice as we went through that process."
Colbrunn played for seven teams during his career and won one World Series with the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks. He was a career .289 hitter with a .338 on-base percentage.
Colbrunn replaces Dave Magadan, who left earlier in the offseason to join the Texas Rangers' staff.
Farrell said the Sox almost certainly will add another hitting instructor, and identified longtime minor-league coach Victor Rodriguez as a leading candidate. That job would be as a staff assistant, much like Randy Niemann served in that capacity for Bobby Valentine on the pitching side until Bob McClure was fired and Niemann was promoted.
Farrell's coaching staff will be comprised of Colbrunn as hitting coach, Juan Nieves as pitching coach, Gary Tuck as bullpen coach, Torey Lovullo as bench coach, Arnie Beyeler as first-base coach and Brian Butterfield as third-base coach.
"Very happy," Farrell said when asked to assess his staff. "In large part not only because of the experiences and the success that each has had individually, but the people that they are. I felt it was important to have characteristics that each possessed, and I can say to a man that they do. And that's the players' well-being, their career, that's the forefront of everyone's mind. It's not about the coach, it's about the player.
"Yes, we will hold players accountable to their individual needs and to our team goals, but to have people that are not only dedicated but they can communicate and teach, I feel that's a common thread that links all of us together. And I'm very excited about the group that's been put together."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes was used in this report.