The man behind the A's potent offense

Updated: April 18, 2013, 1:08 PM ET
By Buster Olney

The Oakland Athletics tried to hire Chili Davis as hitting coach a few years ago, targeting him because of his track record as a hitter and because his approach mirrored what the organization valued, in prioritizing patience and power. But a deal didn't work out.

Then Bob Melvin took over as manager, and as he and general manager Billy Beane discussed possible hitting coaches before the 2012 season, he had a name in mind: Chili Davis.

The second time around, Oakland hired Davis away from the Red Sox, and over the past 10 1/2 months, Davis has helped hitters who make up the majors' best offense. Watching the Athletics hit can be like watching a slow-pitch softball team, with a bunch of guys taking big swings and looking to do major damage. Oakland took care of business against the talent-challenged Houston Astros this week, limiting the Houston starting pitchers to just 5 1/3 innings in three games, and after the Athletics finished off a sweep of Houston with a 7-5 win Wednesday, Oakland led the majors in runs scored and total bases.