Rangers hire hitting coach Thad Bosley

The Texas Rangers hired former player Thad Bosley to be the team's new hitting coach Tuesday, replacing Clint Hurdle.

The 54-year-old Bosley, a former outfielder and pinch-hitter who finished his 14-year major league career with a two-year stint with the Rangers from 1989-90, becomes the first former player to be the Rangers' hitting coach.

Hurdle was named the new manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month.

Bosley, who interviewed for the position with the Rangers in 2009 before Hurdle was hired and then became the head coach of Southwestern College in Phoenix, was the hitting coach for the Oakland Athletics for two seasons while Washington was on the A's staff as a third base coach.

The two go back to 1989, when both were in spring training with the Rangers.

"Our relationship definitely goes back a ways," Washington said Tuesday. "Thad brings a willingness and a passion to want to help this young team that we have -- full of great hitters, full of great players -- to help them to understand their dream and to meet their dream. He has a passion for being there and also has experience and he has knowledge."

Bosley becomes Texas' third hitting coach in three seasons. Longtime coach Rudy Jaramillo left the Rangers for the Chicago Cubs after the 2008 season.

"Rudy did a great job and Clint added on," Bosley said. "There'll be a couple of tweaks in terms of philosophy, but I think overall the language will be the same. ... Our goal is to repeat and get back to where the team was this last year in the postseason."

While with the A's, Bosley worked with Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada, who won MVP Awards in Oakland. At Texas, he takes over a lineup that led the American League with a .276 batting average and is anchored by Josh Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP who hit .359 and who credits Hurdle for eradicating the toe tap from his stance.

Bosley said he will try to enhance the foundation set by Jaramillo and Hurdle.

"Any time you lead the American League in hitting, you have a good philosophy," Bosley said. "The continuation and the tweak would be enhancing the understanding of what to do in count situations, what to look for, how to hit a fastball from a breaking ball and vice-versa; making sure we maintain hitting in the big part of the ballpark ... grinding out at-bats a little better than they did last year. Those are things we'll work on in spring training and through the course of the season."

Jeff Caplan is a reporter for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter. Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com contributed to this report.