Jan 4, 2020

Hensley Meulens: 2020 Mets Bench Coach

Hensley Filemon Acasio Meullens was born June 23rd 1967 in Curacao. As a teenager his friends nicknamed him "Bam Bam" due to his left handed power hitting long HRs. He was named after strong young Flintstones cartoon character.

Trivia: He was the first player from Curacao to play in MLB & the Dominican Pro League. He is also the first player to play on all four Caribbean Leagues.

Meulens was signed by the AL New York club as an amateur free agent  in 1985. He struggled in his first pro season, then hit 28 HRs in the Gulf Coast League in 1987. He had another bad year in 1988. In 1989 he went from AA ball to AAA Ball even getting a late August call up to the big leagues. 

He debuted on August 23rd, getting a hit & a walk, in his first game, also striking out twice in a 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. After batting just .179 he was shipped back to the minors.

The next year, he was the International League MVP in 1990, leading his Columbus Clippers to an the International League Championship, where they lost to Rochester. 

He got a September call up to the 7th place AL New York team. On September 12th, in a 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers, he hit his first career HR, coming off  veteran Charlie Hough. He would hit two more before the season ended & bat .241.

He began 1991 at the big league level, splitting time in left field with Mel Hall, but would get sent down to AAA again. He returned toward the end of the year for the fifth place club. 

Meulens would spend five years as a player with the AL New York club, never living up to his hype. He was mostly a part time player there, seeing a career high that year, in 96 games hitting 6 HRs with 8 doubles & 29 RBIs while batting .222. In the outfield he committed five errors, fourth most for all AL left fielders.

After two more seasons going from the majors back to minors, he was released. In 1994 he went to play in Japan, playing for the Chiba Lotte Lions (1994) & the Yakult Swallows (1995-1996) leading them to the 1995 Japan Series. 

He would get back to the MLB for 16 games in 1997 with the Montreal Expos hitting two HRs. He played two games against the Mets going 0-1. 

He was granted free agency & signed on with the Arizona Diamondbacks for 1998. He appeared in just seven games. He hit a HR in his first game there, the last of his career. That year he was 0-4 in two games against the Mets.

In his seven year career, he batted .220 with 109 hits 15 HRs 17 doubles & 53 RBIs. He struck out 165 times in 496 at bats.

After his MLB career, he played Independent ball & played in Korea, finally retiring in 2002.

World Baseball Classic - Olympics - World Cup: He played on the 2002 Netherlands Olympic team & his game winning double helped give Cuba their first loss. He later returned as a Netherlands coach in the World Baseball Classic in 2004 & 2009 becoming their manager for the 2013 WBC. He also managed them in the 2011 Baseball World Cup.

Coaching Career: He started out as a coach in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2003 & 2004. 

He then was the AAA Indianapolis Indians hitting coach (2005-2008) in the Pirates organization. He then moved onto the San Francisco Giants organization in 2009 with the Fresno Grizzlies.

In 2010 he replaced Carney Lansford as the Giants big league hitting coach. He remained in that position for eight years, winning three World Series with the Giants in that role. He then became the team's bench Coach 2018-2019.

Mets Career: In December 2019 he was named the New York Mets Bench coach under new manager, Carlos Beltran. The two were team mates for the 2011 Giants.

Family: He & his wife Gyselle have two daughters & a son together. Meulens is fluent in five different languages. He was awarded the order of Knight by Dutch Queen Beatrix.

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