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Kuntz earns No. 1 rank as outfield/baserunning coach

KANSAS CITY -- The ever-present smile of first-base coach Rusty Kuntz must be even brighter this week.

When Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo rated coaches around the Major Leagues in various categories, Kuntz was ranked No. 1 for outfield/baserunning. Noted Cafardo: "Kuntz's outfielders are fundamentally sound and get good jumps on balls. Kuntz has been able to improve arm accuracy."

Kuntz is also the team's baserunning guru, and it should be noted that the Royals led the Major Leagues in stolen bases last season, with 153. Their success ratio was 82.7 percent, second only to Boston's 86.6.

Elsewhere on the coaching scene, some former Royals staffers have landed jobs this winter. Eddie Rodriguez, last season's third-base coach, is now the Padres' Minor League infield coordinator. The Padres also named Jamie Quirk, last year's bench coach for the Cubs, as manager for Class A Lake Elsinore in California.

Kevin Seitzer, who sat out 2013, was hired as the Blue Jays' hitting coach by manager John Gibbons, himself an ex-Royals coach. Former pitching coach Bob McClure, also idle last year, got the same job with the Phillies.

Ex-manager Trey Hillman, let go as the Dodgers' bench coach, landed in the Yankees' front office as a special assistant. Ex-Royals first baseman Wally Joyner has been hired as the Tigers' hitting coach.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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