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Mets are bringing back Chili Davis as hitting coach

Mets hitting coach Chili Davis watches from the

Mets hitting coach Chili Davis watches from the top of the dugout steps during a spring training game against the Houston Astros on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Meet the new hitting coach, same as the old hitting coach.

The Mets and Chili Davis agreed to a two-year contract that brings him back as hitting coach, the same role he had with the team in 2019, a source said Wednesday.

That news came a day after Davis visited for several hours with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, assistant GMs Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge and other team higher-ups Tuesday night at the GM meetings. Those are held through Thursday at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, near Davis’ Phoenix-area home.

Van Wagenen — who has declined to discuss the Mets’ coaching search until they are done filling out manager Carlos Beltran’s staff — said Davis did well last season.

“Chili did a great job in 2019,” Van Wagenen said. “He developed a good relationship with our players, he helped our guys understand the value in using the whole field. And I thought he was a great addition to our staff last year.”

Under Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater, also a free agent, the Mets ranked 13th in the majors in runs per game — 4.88, a tick better than the major-league average of 4.83 — 11th in average (.257), 10th in OBP (.328) and 11th in slugging percentage (.442).

Pete Alonso hit a majors-leading 53 homers on his way to the National League Rookie of the Year award. Jeff McNeil was in the running for the batting title until a late slump and finished with a .318/.384/.531 slash line, an improvement over his impressive rookie season. Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto also had strong offensive seasons.

The rest of the Mets’ field staff remains a question mark. For bench coach, Fredi Gonzalez and Jerry Narron are known candidates, and reports Wednesday added Ron Wotus to that growing list.

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