Former Italian/American Native New York Player & Current Marlins Hitting Coach: Frank Menechino (1999-2005)
Frank Menechino was born January 7, 1971 in Staten Island, New York. He was raised in a middle class family, his father taught him how to use a shovel & a jack hammer as to earn a blue collar living. “He made sure I’d have a trade if I didn’t make it in baseball, and I worked construction as a kid — demolition, paving, regular contracting work,” Menechino said.
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The local Italian / American played baseball at Susan E. Wagner High School on Staten Island. At five foot nine, he was a solid infielder who batted right handed.
He went on to play college baseball at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida, before switching to the University of Alabama. In 1993 he was drafted way down in the 45th round, by the Chicago White Sox.
In 1997 he was drafted away from Chicago by the Oakland Athletics.
After a six year minor league career, he debuted in 1999 with the Oakland A's for nine games.He played utility infield there for two seasons before becoming the A’s main second baseman in 2001.
He helped turn 90 double plays in the infield (4th best in the AL) but made 15 errors (3rd most at 2B). In 139 games he hit .239 with 12 HRs 20 doubles & 60 RBIs. He struck out often (97 times) and had a remarkable knack for getting hit by pitches. He was second in the league in getting plunked -19 times.
Post Season: He appeared in three post seasons with Oakland 2000-2001 & 2003. In the 2001 ALDS he saw the most action, playing in four games with one hit in twelve at bats.
In 2002 Mark Ellis took over second base in Oakland & Menechino was back to a utility role. He struggled mightily over next three seasons, hitting .205 then .193 and after 13 games in 2004 he dropped to .097. Oakland shipped him off to the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a conditional deal. He spent two brief years there, hitting .216 in 70 games in 2004.
He finished up his seven year career with a .240 average, 302 hits 36 HRs 58 doubles & 149 RBIs in 450 games played. Known more for his glove in a utility role he played 309 games at second base posting a .982 fielding %. He played 45 games at third, 33 games at short, 54 games as a designated hitter & even pitched twice.
Italy: In 2008 he went to play in the Italian baseball league, playing 18 games for Danesi Nettuno in Serie A1. He hit .274 before a herniated disc finished him off that May.
Retirement: He returned home and became hitting coach for the Trenton Thunder of the Independent League, from 2009 -2010. He then became a hitting coach at AAA Scranton / Wilkes Barre.
In 2014 he was named hitting coach of the Miami Marlins. His team came in fifth in the NL in hitting (.253) walks (501) & triples (36). They were sixth in hits (1399) & on base & (.317%).