"If I ever quit learning, I'll quit coaching."
When it comes to baseball, Don Slaught considers himself to be a passionate student of the game. This has been true from his Little League days, through his high school and college years, and throughout his 16 yrs in the Major Leagues. He attributes his longevity to his commitment to learning and improving. The evidence proves this out. In his first eight years in the Big Leagues, Slaught hit .269 compared to his last eight years where he averaged over .300; and in is final five full seasons, he had a .310 average. Slaught said he didn’t get any stronger or faster but he did get smarter. He said it was the elimination of some poor information and the understanding of some good information on both mechanics and his approach that allowed him to improve late into his thirties.
It was this renovation that led him into coaching and the eventual development of RightView Pro. What took him years to understand can now be seen and understood very easily at even the earliest levels of baseball. Since retiring in 1997, Slaught has spent most of his time coaching at just about every level from Little Leaguers to Major Leaguers. He was the Big League Hitting Coach for the 2006 American League Champion Detroit Tigers. Slaught is quick to point out that the success of a coach is not based on knowing how to hit but rather on knowing how to get others to hit. They are two different skills. The goal of RVP was to speed up the learning curve by developing a system to allow coaches and players to see, understand, and communicate more effectively.
At UCLA, Slaught’s .428 batting average established a new school record that lasted 25 years. He was named team captain and went on to earn All Pac-10, All Coast, and Academic All American honors.
Slaught was drafted in the seventh round in 1980; made his Major League debut in 1982 with the Kansas City Royals; and spent the next 16 years in the Major Leagues with the Royals, Rangers, Yankees, Pirates, Angels and Padres.
Improved with Age
As the oldest player on his team for the last five years, Slaught batted .310. He hit .269 in the 1980’s and .306 in the 1990’s. Don’s batting average of .345 in 1992 was the highest batting average for a catcher since Elston Howard in 1969.
Left is All Right
Slaught is a lifetime .302 hitter against left-handed pitching. Slaught’s .336 batting average vs. lefties over his last five seasons ranked him 5th in the Major Leagues behind Frank Thomas, Paul Molitor, Edgar Martinez, and Tony Gwynn.
No. 3 on Grass
Slaught is ranked 3rd over his last five seasons on natural grass behind Tony Gwynn and Frank Thomas.
Slaught appeared in three consecutive National League Championships series with the Pirates and played in the 1984 ALCS with the Royals.
In the Pinch
Slaught had a career .320 average as a Pinch Hitter
Don and his wife, Sandy, have four children: Christa 25, Stephanie 23, Cory 19, and Jessica 18. He and his wife both graduated from UCLA and live in Southern California.