Play Ball Kid Baseball Development Podcast
By Bryan Eisenberg, Sammy Eisenberg
Play Ball Kid Baseball Development PodcastNov 28, 2022
Enhancing Pitchers 1 Finger at a Time with Flex Pro Grip founders Daryl & Adam Moreau
Baseball players have shared the importance of strong forearms and grip strength for years. But recently, Daryl & Adam Moreau have taken it to the next level by developing the Flex Pro Grip, that allows specialized protocols to measure and improve each joint in each finger. They spent the last year working with the San Diego Padres organization and they join us to share some of what they have discovered in those trials. Discover how their device trains the 3 flexors muscles that are responsible for keeping our UCL safe, how different finger strength should influence your pitch design and where arm care and performance are headed in the coming years.
Hitting Performance Coaching with Cubs AA Hitting Coach Rick Strickland
When Rick Strickland broke his hand in his Junior year of college at Austin Peay, he was Top 10 in the nation in Batting Avg. and Stolen Bases. It was a blow missing the season, but like he tells his players when one door closes, another opens. He got a chance to play in the Cape Cod League with some amazing talent. “I played with great players and future Hall of Famers. Frank Thomas, Mo Vaugh, Tim Salmon, Jeff Kent, and Denny Neagle. Playing with top talent elevates your game and your mind”
Rick came back and tore it up his Senior year leading the team to its first winning season in a decade and helping turn the program around. “The leadership, that’s what really stays with me. What the team and I helped do for the program was immense.”
Rick’s standout play caught the attention of the Yankees, who drafted him. After spending time in their farm system, Rick brought his passion for player development and innovation to coaching.
Rick is driven by improving players and helping them battle through challenges – mental and physical. “If you want to hit hard or throw hard, you have to train hard. You have to push your past what you think you can do to achieve more.”
Baseball is a game of speed and power. What you do in the gym, will show on the field. His obsession with making improvements and player feedback took him down the technology path, where he has been a pioneer. He worked in early-stage development with Blast Motion, Rapsodo, Diamond Kinetics, and Uplift.
A true student of the game, Rick grew up in Chicago as a two-way guy – a player AND a sports reporter. “Starting at 6 years old, I played constantly, but I also had to give my uncle complete recaps of the Cubs and White Sox games. I was his ESPN. What was the score? How did they get their runs? I had to tell him the story behind the game.”
After years of playing, coaching, and “reporting,” Rick can readily spot the story behind each player’s swing and throw. For him, and the CRTR staff, understanding how a player moves in training and practice is key to unlocking how they will perform on the field. Their collective job is to make players better.
With over 375 college commits, 78 professional players, and 2 All-Stars in Andrew Benitendi and Jake Odorizzi, Coach Strickland’s obsession with player development is the centerpiece of every training program.
Leaving Your Developmental Fingerprint on Baseball Players Through Natural Motor Preferences with Steve Janssen
Coach Janssen worked as pitching coach in the Chicago Cubs organization during the 2018 season. Between 2013 and 2017 he was the manager of the Netherlands. Between 2003 and 2012 he worked as pitching coach for the Netherlands on multiple occasions. With the Dutch team he won the 2011 Baseball World Cup in Panama and led the team to back-to-back European Championships in 2014 and 2016. He also was successful as club coach with Neptunus Rotterdam.
He has spent the last few years exploring the concepts of Natural Motor Preferences to innovate baseball player development and injury prevention. This episode should help you understand some of the key differences that explain why some cues are amazing for some players but disastrous for others. You can learn more at his website www.baseballactionid.com.
Becoming Committed with @BUncomitted Founder and JUCO Coach Jake Tobin
Coach Jacob Tobin is the head coach at SUNY Ulster, a JUCO in the Hudson Valley area of New York. He is the founder of the recruiting account @BUncommitted on Twitter, where he shares videos of student athletes with over 530 coaches and professional scouts.
Jake Tobin was born and raised in the Greenwich Village Section of New York City. Jake played high school baseball at Dwight High School where he is currently the head coach. As a Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Jake was an All-Conference selection. He played college baseball at St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn.
Jake has served in many roles in scholastic and collegiate sports. He began his coaching career in the Hamptons League as a volunteer assistant for the Sag Harbor Whalers. Since then he has served as assistant coaches for St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn, University of Connecticut Avery Point and Saint Peter’s College.
Currently Jake is also the head coach of the Sag Harbor Whalers of the Hamptons league where he has coached numerous drafted players. Jake also founded a baseball analytics team of college interns to collect, analyze, and distribute graph’s charts and reports to players and coaches.
While a coach at University of Connecticut Avery Point Jake founded a baseball recruiting platform called @BUncommited. The platform was created for his Junior College players during the pandemic. Jake’s platform has helped over 300 kids find college placement.
Jacob lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Emily, his daughter Mia and their two bulldogs Otto and Mays.
Player Development from under developed country to Astros Manager in DR with Marcelo Alfonsin
Marcelo Alfonsin, is the Astros Dominican League Manager and Field Coordinator. He is also the pitching coach for the Argentinian National Team that recently competed in the World Baseball Classic qualifier in Panama. Marcelo grew up playing baseball in Argentina, that as you can imagine does not have a lot of baseball players and has worked his way to be a Manager in the Houston Astros Organization. If you are a fan of the underdog story, you will not want to miss this episode.
Training Sport Specific Forces with the Proteus Motion device with TrainPMT's Jarret Phillips
Jarrett explains the outcome of an assessment on the Proteus Motion and how they relate to sport specific force for baseball players. Getting an assessment on the Proteus allows for targeting the strength or acceleration deficient areas of our athletes.
Jarrett Phillips is the owner of TrainPMT Southlake in Southlake, Texas. He trains athletes of all ages including PGA pros, Greg Chalmers and Brendan Todd. Website: https://www.trainpmt.com/ Instagram: @trainpmt_southlake
On Becoming a Mental Warrior On and Off the Field with Alan Jaeger, Jim Vatcher & China McCarney
Lessons learned from a Savannah Banana & college coach with Tyler Gillum
“My life goal is to have a positive impact on 1 million people through baseball, education, and exercise.” - Tyler Gillum
Tyler Gillum enters his 13th year coaching college baseball and his 11th year at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, AZ. He is the Associate Head Coach at SMCC primarily working with the infielders and coaching third base. He is also a coach with the Savannah Bananas.
Gillum is also Health & Wellness faculty where he oversees exercise science, nutrition, health & wellness, and physical education programs. He is a certified strength and conditioning trainer, holding certifications in FRC (Functional Range Conditioning) and TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) and leads the baseball strength & conditioning program at SMCC.
- 80 D1 transfers
- 7 draft picks
- 344-194 overall record
- 28 all-conference players
- Cumulative Team GPA over 3.0 (10 Total Years)
- 2017 lead the country in Stolen Bases (200)
- 2018 finished 2nd in fielding percentage (.974)
- 2019 14 D1 Transfers (Most in program history)
Baseball Systems, Camps and Courses Creator:
- The GreenLightSpecial Baserunning System
- “All You Can Eat” Infield Camps
- The Growth Toolbox “Developing Skills to Change Your Life”
Gillum is a mainstay on the summer coaching circuit. He currently enters his 11th year coaching summer baseball. He will be returning to the Coastal Plain League with the Savannah Bananas for his fifth year. In his four summers in Savannah, he has compiled an overall record of 139-53 leading the entire league in wins in that time frame. In 2021, the Bananas won the CPL Championship going 40-10 on the summer with 13 ALL-CPL Selections.
He spent the 2017 summer with the YD Red Sox in the Cape Cod League (27-16) where they led the league in stolen bases (68). 2014-2016 was spent with the Brazos Valley Bombers in the Texas Collegiate League, winning 3 TCL championships with an overall record of 138-31. With Gillum coaching 3rd base, the Bombers led the TCL in many offensive categories highlighted by breaking the single-season stolen bases record with 161.
Gillum has spoken at many coaching clinics around the country including the American Baseball Coaches Convention in 2016 and 2018. Some of those topics are Infield Play (Developing Dudes on the Dirt), Baserunning (The GreenLightSpecial System), and Player Development (The Growth Toolbox). He has also been interviewed on multiple podcasts such as “ABCA:Calls from the Clubhouse”, “Ahead of the Curve”, and "Dugout Chatter".
Gillum graduated from Latta High School in Oklahoma in 2005, where he was a member of four state championship teams. He then spent two years at Seminole State Junior College. He finished his playing career at East Central University earning a degree in Kinesiology (Teacher’s Certification) and a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Sports Administration.
He and his wife Danielle have a 1-year-old boy Camden.
Baseball Development & Recruiting Q &A with Colter Bostick Live 6-22-22
This episode was recorded live on Twitter Spaces with Colter Bostick, Javi DeJesus and Corey Gardner.
Colter Bostick is the former pitching coach at Rice University. He is the co-author of Play Ball Kid: How to develop baseball players from middle school dreamers through committed college recruits.
As both a coach and as the director of his baseball performance program, Maximized Baseball, Bostick has worked with professional and collegiate pitchers to accelerate their abilities and talents. He has also consulted with major league organizations in their talent evaluation and acquisition.
Bostick developed and refined a program focusing on mechanical diagnostics, pitch design and individualized throwing programs resulting in maximized player development. Maximized Baseball’s focus on guidance and pitching development produced over 30 all-state selections and 100+ pitchers committed to college programs or drafted as top-rated prospects.
As an area scout for Prep Baseball Report, Bostick built an extensive network of coaches throughout the region while evaluating and scouting talent.
He pitched collegiately at Midland College and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in English Communications.
He launched his post-playing baseball career with the Glens Falls Dragons of the Perfect Game Collegiate League in 2015. Later that same year he founded Maximized Baseball in San Antonio.
Bostick grew up in the northwest region of the country, primarily residing in Cody, Wyoming before he moved to Texas to pitch collegiately.
He and wife, Lauren make their home in Houston.
Recruiting and developing college ready hitters with Coach Corey Gardner
Amplifying our Body's Performance with Tracy Hayes, the MobilityChick
Tracy Hayes, aka “MobilityChick” is the founder of Amplified Movement and a Movement + Mobility Specialist most known for her 12-Week Baseball Mobility Series launched within the MLB community in 2020 that has garnered the attention of players and strength coaches from 24 of the 30 MLB organizations, from A-ball to All-Star. In less than 2 years since her mobility series’ launch, Tracy has had nearly 1k enrollments in her various mobility routines and programs within pro and non-pro baseball. Tracy has been featured on MLB.com for her work with the Orioles and for personally mentoring their Strength Coach, Liz Pardo. Tracy has been a featured guest on several podcasts.
Tracy has a unique perspective as a former “baseball wife”, is a mama to 4 young children, two of whom currently play Little League, and she has made it her mission to create a healthy, fun, and effective youth sports experience for all of her children and the millions of other kids who love to get outside and play the game of baseball. Make sure to check out her Youth Warm Up series.
Tracy’s vast background includes Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, and Linguistics during her studies at Northwestern University, a professional career in Research at McKinsey & Company in addition to advanced studies in biomechanics for athletes. Her methods incorporate fundamentals from PRI, FRC, ELDOA, Physical Therapy-based functional yoga (LYT), in addition to Classical Pilates, and over 1,000 hours of specialized yoga training. Tracy is a Master Pilates instructor and published author, an NLP Practitioner, trained in EFT (Tapping), and is a regular with Vipassana meditation.
Please share this episode with every baseball mom and dad that you know. Let's help our kids move better. The payoffs will be amplified.
Recruiting & Developing Explosive College Pitchers with Javi DeJesus
Javi DeJesus was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico where he learned to love the game of baseball. His parents moved to Beaumont, TX where he had a lucrative high school career throwing the schools first two no-hitters, District 22-5A MVP and earned a scholarship to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. From 1990-1992, Javi amassed a record of 23-1 (22-0 as a starter), with a 13-0 junior season which earned him 1st Team All-American Teams Coach’s Poll, 2nd Team All American Collegiate Weekly, and 3rd Team All America Baseball America. He also earned 1st All Louisiana and Sun Belt Co-Pitcher of the Year award.
In 1992, he was invited to represent Puerto Rico in the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. His junior season helped capture the attention of the Minnesota Twins who drafted him in the 17th round. He played 10 years in the minors with a record of 54-33 and a 3.99 ERA earning 4 All Star appearances and Minnesota Twins Pitcher of the Month in 1994.
After retirement, Javi began coaching and working with young men throughout the Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio area. He along with the late Charly Butcher founded the Fort Wayne Cubs, nka FW Diamondbacks, which has helped over 300+ young men of playing at the collegiate level with over dozen drafter to play professionally and two current MLB players, Kevin Keirmaier and Zack McKinstry.
Currently, Javi is the Pitching Coach at Ivy Tech CC where helped lead his staff finish 30th in the country in Pitching. His passion for teaching the game and developing pitchers has led mat Peters to be considered as an MLB Draft prospects taking him from 89-93 mph to touching 103 and sitting 96-98mph over the course of the spring season. His work ethic and constant use of video analysis apps has helped transform his pitchers into formidable prospects for 4 year schools.
In this episode we discuss:
- What he is looking for when recruiting pitchers
- What parents and student athletes should look for in a program when evaluating how will they develop players
- Some of the tools Javi brought into his pitching lab at Ivy Tech (PitchAI, The Kinetic Arm and the PitchLogic Smart baseball).
- What he is doing with the 16 year old pitchers he coaches this summer to help their development and recruiting.
How to Speak to College Coaches with Coach Corey Gardner
Corey Gardner is currently the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University, where he coaches hitters & infielders. Corey had previous stops at The University of Rio Grande and Kentucky Christian Univeristy. He previously owned a travel baseball program as well.
In this episode we talk about how student athletes can project confidence when speaking to college coaches on the phone or in person. Corey shares the 1 question he would ask over 10,000 student athletes every year on the recruiting trail. Corey shares advice on how to connect with coaches on email and social media. We also answer a few audience questions since this was recorded live on Twitter Spaces on May 27th, 2022. Question include:
"If you get an introduction email from a player and you are not allowed to respond due to age restrictions. How does player know if you are interested or not."
"As Corey mentioned, parents aren’t around their child when in college…. With the surge of student athletes who have taken their own lives, what are some things a parent/athletes can ask when looking for a program in regards to supporting your athletes mentally or safeguarding the athletes whole self? Second- how do college coaches makes sure their athletes are mentally and emotionally balanced/ being supported with the pressures of being a college athlete?"
Ignore O.P.O (other people's opinions) with Patrick Jones former MilB & High School coach and podcaster
Patrick Jones is the host of the Patrick Jones Baseball podcast, a private hitting coach, as well as a former MilB coach & high school coach. Patrick is the first guest on this podcast to be interviewed by both Sammy (3 years ago) and Bryan. Patrick has been spending a lot of time speaking to college coaches, travel ball coaches on his podcast recently and is also helping families with the college baseball recruiting process.
The Pursuit of Players with Coach Kirk Cabana
Kirk Cabana is the founder of Pursuit 4 Purpose and the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Carolina University. The Pursuit 4 Purpose podcast brings together the world’s most passionate athletes together to encourage our goals and aspirations. By using the principles of the greatest minds before us, our athletes will become champions of character. Kirk is also the head coach of the Carolina Disco Turkeys independent baseball team. Kirk has a remarkable baseball journey returning to play when he was 30 years old and now coaching just a few short years later.
Elite Mobility Training for Baseball Players with Sarah Howard
Sarah Howard, is the founder of Elite Mobility Training (EMT). We spend time talking about how to incorporate recovery routines, why they are so important, why Yoga seems to be taboo, what are the benefits of mobility training and her use of the inexpensive Yoga Tune Up and Coregeous balls with baseball players from youth to MLB players like Jack Flaherty.
Training Baseball Players to Be Bigger, Faster, Stronger and Better with Rick Saggese
The Science of Baseball & How to Help Our Athletes
Will Carroll writes about sports science, sports medicine, and sports. We chat about his latest book "The Science of Baseball." His “Under The Knife” column was called “essential reading” by Hall of Famer Peter Gammons. Author of two award-winning books (Saving The Pitcher and The Juice), Carroll currently writes about injuries for his own newsletter and consults with several professional teams and players on sports science. His work has been seen on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Baseball Prospectus, and the New York Times. He lives in Indianapolis and is @injuryexpert on most platforms.
Will and I discuss how our athletes could benefit from data and using science to develop and reduce injury. He offers a great tip for anyone evaluating programs to choose in their collegiate journey. We explore what the future might look like with his NorthStarr.ai project as well.
Progressive Baseball Development with Juan Palacios
Juan Palacios is a professional baseball trainer with over 30 years of experience working with pitchers, catchers and hitters. He has worked with some of today’s most talented MLB players such as Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Edwin Diaz, Jesmuel Valentin and Yadiel Rivera.
Juan was born and raised in Caguas Puerto Rico and graduated from the Eloisa Pascual High School in 1988. He went on to play baseball his first two years at George Fox College in Oregon, a NAIA Division I program. There he lettered both years. He then transferred and finished out his collegiate baseball career at Turabo University in PR. Juan was named to the NAIA Div 1 All-American Team.
Juan played for the World Champions Puerto Rican National Team in 1993. During his Semi pro career, Juan was the Rookie of the Year in 1988, MVP in 1993 with the Coamo PR Double AA team and National Pitcher of the year with a 8-0 record, and a .063 ERA in 102 innings pitched (1993). After a short stint in the business world, Juan decided to return to his passion of teaching and coaching baseball. Juan became an assistant coach at Archbishop Spaulding High school in Maryland, a baseball coordinator and head baseball coach at Notre Dame High school in Caguas PR. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach and baseball coordinator with several organizations in Maryland.
Over the past 10 years, Juan has been a part of programs that have made it to at least the MIAA Division 1 playoff in Maryland. Juan is the also the former National coach for the 5 star team National mid Atlantic taking Maryland baseball to levels that haven’t been seen before in the state. He is a former International Pitching Association Coach (2002) with a reputation for turning pitching staffs around. In 1996, got his first job as a pitching Coach with Halcones de Gurabo semi pro league in PR and took the pitching staff from a 2-8 record at the time with 6.13 ERA to an impressive 12-2 turn around and .082 ERA after starting his role. He developed two of his former pitchers to become part of the National team that year.
He has also had the honor to work with some local Maryland talent such as Tyler Blohm and Zach Thompson from the University of Maryland, Jordan Carr from North Carolina and Jordan Geber at ST. Marys University., Josh Moylan’s at ECU and Jackson Merrill, a first round pick by the SD Padres 2021. Juan’s diverse background includes being an IFA certified Personal Trainer and a Massage Therapist who graduated in 2008 in Caguas PR.
Juan is extremely excited about the opportunity to work with kids of all levels and is building his Palacios Clinics baseball program from the ground up. He sets very high expectations for each of his players both indoors and on the field. He and his beautiful wife Evelyn have been married for 12 years.
Making Sense of Baseball Vision Training with Dr Peter Fadde
3 Keys to Unlock Hitter Timing with Ken Cherryhomes
Reducing Elbow & Shoulder Stress with Jason Colleran
The 1 Skill Baseball Players, Parents & Coaches Don't Ask Enough About with Joe Ferraro
This week we are with former high school baseball coach, high school English teacher, podcaster and podcast coach Joe Ferraro [ https://www.damngoodconversations.com ] of the 1% Better Podcast and the "Damn Good Questions" virtual course. We discuss the importance of communication on and off the field and the power of asking good questions in our player development, recruiting and as a life long skill beyond the baseball field.
Can we teach hitters to have one ideal swing with Chad Longworth?
Chad was a 12th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians. He also coached H.S. baseball for 5 years. With the advent of new technology began to take hold of baseball he started questioning a lot of what players do and what they are taught. Today he offers various player development options from his facility in Virginia, as well as remote baseball and softball training as well as a suite of products he has brought to market including the Spinner. Be sure to check out his LPD+ community and his podcast.
In today's show Bryan and Chad talk about:
- What are people getting wrong when posting swing videos on social media?
- What matters more, Max power or Max accuracy?
- Is there an ideal swing that can be taught?
- How to identify a "hitting" coach over a "swing coach."
- What did the old timers and kids in Latin America have in common in their development?
How to get into your legs with Harold Mozingo
Harold Mozingo is a former pitcher in the Royals and Blue Jays organizations. He is the inventor of the TorqueScrew training device for training pitchers on how to use ground force effectively. He is the author of Young Guns Eguide, a 90 page complete guide to training youth pitchers. It includes Velocity Development, Mechanics, Strength Training, Workload, Training for Control, How-To Guide's for each pitch type (including pictures of grips), Training Guides by Age, Sample Routines and more! He also offers baseball lessons and training near Tappahannock, VA.
Working Harder Than Everyone Else to the Ring the Bell with Heath Bell
Slide into our 3x All-Star, former Reliever of the Year and baseball dad, coach Heath Bell
Heath Bell grew up in Southern California. He attended Tustin High School, it was there that he developed habits that would last a lifetime.
Undrafted out of high school, Bell attended nearby Santa Ana College (known briefly as Rancho Santiago College during his time there. Bell went 8-0 with a 2.17 ERA and nine saves for the Dons as a freshman en route to being named the Orange Empire Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year in 1997.7 He added 12 saves as a sophomore. Although those two seasons would eventually lead to his 2010 induction into the Santa Ana College Hall of Fame, his junior-college success guaranteed nothing in terms of a professional career.
Again defying his doubters, Bell was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 69th round of the 1997 draft. The 1,583rd of 1,607 players taken that year, he did not sign, later recalling that when the Devil Rays made an offer, “I actually forgot I got drafted.” Instead he signed with the New York Mets as a free agent the following summer, starting his career at Kingsport of the Appalachian League, where he posted a 2.54 ERA and led his team with eight saves.
Meanwhile, Bell’s life changed in other ways. He married his wife, Nicole, and adopted her young daughter, Jasmyne. Heath and Nicole had three children of their own: Jordyn, born with Down syndrome (“our blessing in disguise”10), Reece, and Rhett. Back on the field, Bell responded with a stellar return to Binghamton, notching a 1.18 ERA and six saves before a midseason promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. He enjoyed less success at the higher level and again posted pedestrian numbers in a 2003 encore but now found himself just one step away from the big leagues. From 2004 to 2006, Bell rode the proverbial shuttle between New York and Norfolk, often needed for stretches but never quite able to stick. And while his Triple-A performances dazzled, his stints with the Mets — with irregular roles and usage — didn’t go so well. In 81 appearances with the Mets, he posted a 4.92 ERA and zero saves. By the end of his tenure in New York he was already 28 years old, an age when most players have either established themselves or started preparing for their next career. As Bell later noted, even his family was ready for him to move on.
Bell received a new lease on life when the Mets traded him and fellow reliever Royce Ring to the San Diego Padres for reliever Jon Adkins and outfielder Ben Johnson. Returning to the West Coast, Bell immediately thrived as Trevor Hoffman’s set-up man in 2007, posting a 2.02 ERA in 81 appearances and fanning 102 batters.Bell also became a legend in the Padres clubhouse, known as much for his zany antics (he was fond of flying remote-control helicopters in the clubhouse) as for his prowess on the mound. Bell took over the closer role after Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman left the club, leading the National League with 42 saves and being named to the All-Star team. Perhaps not coincidentally, he’d lost 30 pounds before the season.
Bell cleared the 40-save mark again in 2010 and 2011, making the All-Star team each time. At the 2010 midsummer classic, in Anaheim, Bell brought his father — then fighting lung cancer — to sit with him during media appearances and share the experience. It was the least he could for someone who had always made time for him: “He says he’s a proud father. I’m a proud son.”15In his third and final All-Star Game appearance, Bell sprinted in from the bullpen as usual before sliding into the pitcher’s mound and retiring the only batter he faced. When asked about the slide, Bell said, “I wanted the fans to have fun with this. The fans are really what matters. They’re the ones that show up. They’re the ones who pay our salary."
The ABCs of an MLB Bullpen Coach with Chris Young, Chicago Cubs
Chris "CY" Young serves as bullpen coach for the Chicago Cubs. He formerly served as pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Young attended Mississippi State University, and played college baseball for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He earned Freshman All-America honors. In 2001 he was 5–1 with a 2.81 ERA. In 2002, he had a 5–2 win–loss record with a 3.67 earned run average (ERA), and was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for the week ending May 20. Young earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Mississippi State University.
The Colorado Rockies selected Young in the 18th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft, and he played in Minor League Baseball for six seasons, pitching in as high as Class AAA. He was 24–23 with a 3.54 ERA in 409 1⁄3 innings pitched over 266 games played.
Chris worked as a scout for the San Diego Padres from 2010 through 2014, and as a scout and scouting supervisor for the Houston Astros from 2015 through 2017. After the 2017 season, the Phillies hired Young as an assistant pitching coach for their major league roster. He was promoted to pitching coach for the 2019 season. He was fired after the 2019 season. On November 7, 2019, the Chicago Cubs hired Young to be the bullpen coach. He was the first new addition to the Cubs' coaching staff under David Ross.
Sammy and Chris discuss:
- The time he spoke at 180 Performance Center where Sammy trains about the need to be prepared for the game you are playing today. What is it you do as a bullpen coach for the Cubs and formerly the Phillies that he prepares?
- What kind of routines do you see some of the pitchers go through as they prepare for their game?
- One of the videos we have seen with Chris, is him playing the air guitar and dancing in the bullpen with everyone else in there. How do you keep a good attitude in the bullpen even if you are having a rough game? Who came up with the idea of dancing every time a homer is hit?
- When a player is getting up to throw to be ready to go into the game, what is he watching for him to do and what are you telling him?
- What do some of the pitchers do when they are done throwing in the game? Can you tell us a little about their post pitching routine?
- He has a young son who plays baseball, if he wants to be a pitcher what advice will Chris be telling him? How do you train him to be his best?
- The best advice you have heard from another coach you have played for or worked with?
You can follow Chris Young on Twitter.
Owning the Mental Game with Diamyn Hall
Unlocking the Process to Success with former Wright State, Director of Peak Performance & Mental Conditioning.
Diamyn Hall is currently known as one the world's top Online Mindset Coaches.
He is the creator of The Hitter’s Blackbook & Founder of The Mental Game Blueprint VIP training program.
As a former division 1 baseball player and division 1 coach, Diamyn has impacted millions of lives around the world through his trainings, books, course, & viral videos on social media.
Diamyn Hall is currently behind the scenes establishing himself as one of the industries leading authorities for online business coaching (where he mentors, coaches, & teaches highly driven online entrepreneurs how to make $10k a month on autopilot).
In the heartfelt episode Sammy and Diamyn discuss:
• How he became the first mental game development coordinator in college history
• What he means when he talks about extreme ownership
• The background story of the viral post on resiliency
• What athletes can do to prepare for the pressure of being in college
• The content of The Hitter's Blackbook
• Establishing a pre and post game process
• Advice he would give his teenage self
Rounding Third: Practice Planning with author Coach Zach Casto
Coach Zach Casto started his coaching career at West Virginia State University Student Assistant for 2 years (2016-2018) and is currently the Nitro High School Assistant Coach (Outfield, Base-Running, Analytics, First Base Coach). He is the author of "Rounding Third: Skills, Drills, and Best Practices in the Game of Baseball" and the Rounding Third Leadership baseball blog and Co-Host of "Classroom Chatter" podcast.
You can follow Zach on Twitter.
Sammy and Zach discuss:
- Why he decided to write a new practice and coaching book Rounding Third
- Why was it important to you to share where you learned these great ideas from
- His winning formula for teams and how to select players.
- Coach Butch Chaffin (Cookeville (TN) High School), “Teach your players like they are eight years old every day and you won’t get frustrated with them” and why it was mentioned in the book?
- Teaching seems to be always controversial but what are the core teachings for hitters
- How Coach Cal Bailey teaches pitchers to attack batters for our listeners His favorite defensive drills to work on with your teams
Old School Wisdom, New School Knowledge with Jerry Weinstein - Colorado Rockies Coach
A lifelong learner & coach shares lessons learned from coaching teams in high school, junior college, summer college leagues, NCAA D1, the minor leagues, the MLB and international competitions, such as the Olympics and the World Baseball Classic.
Jerry Weinstein began his coaching career in 1966 as a UCLA freshman coach. He was an assistant under Ron Fraser on the 1984 University of Miami Hurricanes, which came in fourth at the College World Series. He then coached at Sacramento City College. He led the school to 831 wins across 23 seasons, and led the team to 16 league titles, the California Community College Athletic Association state title in 1988 and 1998, and one national title. A total of 213 of his players were drafted, including 28 who reached the major leagues.
Jerry has been active in International baseball as head coach of the USA representative in the 1970 University Games, assistant coach of the USA team in the 1989 Pan Am Games, the 1992 Olympic Team, the 1996 Olympic Team (Bronze Medal), and head coach of the 2004 USA Maccabiah Team (Gold Medal). He has spoken at clinics in Italy, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Germany.
In professional baseball, Jerry has been the Brewers catching coordinator, managed for the Expos, Cubs, and for the Rockies in the California League. He also was catching coordinator for the Dodgers and later Director of Player Development for the Dodgers. From 2012-2017, Jerry served as the Catching Coordinator for the Rockies.
Weinstein managed Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifier, leading them to a perfect 3-0 record, qualifying Israel for their first World Baseball Classic appearance. He returned as the head coach in the main tournament, managing Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in South Korea and Japan in March 2017, where the team was 4-2 overall in the tournament.
Jerry is a member of the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame, the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame, the ABCA Hall of Fame and the La Salle Club Coaches Hall of Fame.
You can follow Jerry on Twitter.
Effective Velocity Secrets with Perry Husband
How Pitchers Like Blake Snell Dominate Hitters and What Hitters Need To Understand About Pitch Tunnels & Timing
Perry Husband is a pioneer in the world of Baseball Science. He introduced many modern hitting metrics to baseball, including Exit Velocity and Launch Angle. Working with Jay Bell, he used metrics to diagnose and improve performance in both Exit Velocity and Launch Angle in one session with Jay’s swing. Jay had an increase of 10 MPH in Exit Velocity and improved his Launch Angle to the equivalent of today’s ‘Barrel’, a ball hit at 100 MPH at a Launch Angle of 25-30 degrees. He also improved his contact consistency by almost 50%.
Perry also introduced ‘Tubing’ to the baseball world, inventing the original J Bands, sold by Alan Jaeger. The Resistance Belt concept was also a surgical tubing product introduced in the Hitting Is A Guess series for training hitters. Plyometrics in hitting training was the workout prescribed in that same video series from 2001. The underload/overload concept in hitting training was designed and introduced by Perry in the Hitting Is A Guess video, promoting explosiveness, balance and proven bat speed and Exit Velocity increases.
Through the groundbreaking discovery of Effective Velocity, there were countless pitching breakthroughs, including Ev Pitch Tunnels, Location Adjusted Speed (True Reactionary Speed) and many, many other Deception Metrics.
Perry Husband is the Author of the Downright Filthy Pitching Series, including 4 books, Downright Filthy Pitching Books 1, 2, 3 & Getting Filthy – Implementing Effective Velocity.
This cutting edge series uncovers the Patented science of Effective Velocity, which has been used by MLB coaches, pitchers and hitters for more than.
The Foreword is by Dr. Tom House, who helped bring the science to light introducing Ev to both Japan and Korea. Ev has also been adopted by hundreds of university coaches/players in both softball and baseball, including many NCAA champions
Perry also created the Hitting Is A Guess video series that introduced the hitting world to Exit Velocity and Launch Angle, as mentioned.
Perry also authored the Time Training Hitting Programs that helped Carlos Pena lead the American League in homeruns in 2009. Time Training Level 1 is a book and online video course that focuses on mechanical efficiency. Time Training Level 2 introduced the world to Pitch Recognition and Timing, as never understood before. Time Training Level 3 is the most advanced game planning mindsets to date. These are the same mindsets that helped Carlos Pena lead the MLB in Exit Velocity. These same advanced mindsets helped the Back to Back National Champions in softball, University of Oklahoma and UCLA softball programs to become two of the most potent offenses in the game this past season.
As a collegiate player, Perry was the MVP of the Division II College World Series in 1984 where he captained the NCAA Champion Cal State University Northridge Matadors. Perry tied the record for most hits in the Division II College World Series with an 8 for 11 day. At the Junior College level, he led California JCs in hitting and set a record with a 32 game hitting streak.
Perry is an inductee into the CSUN Hall of Fame as well as the Antelope Valley College Hall of Fame and the Lancaster JetHawks Hall of Fame, minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Perry was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round and played two years in the minor league system, setting records for double-plays with Jay Bell, 17 year MLB vet and 2 time All Star.
You can follow Perry on Twitter.
Understanding Recovery from Koufax to Bauer with Gary Reinl, Director of Pro Teams, Marc Pro
Gary Reinl is the Director Pro Teams at H-Wave & MARC PRO, and has spent nearly forty years in the sports-medicine field, with diverse experiences ranging from training professional athletes to pioneering the field of strength-building for women during the pregnancy year to developing rehabilitation programs for injured workers.
Additionally, his ground-breaking senior strength-building protocol has now been implemented in more than 1,000 senior living facilities. Gary has authored two previous books, Making Mama Fit [Leisure Press, 1983] and the 2007 "fat loss" book Get Stronger, Feel Younger [Rodale Press].
You can follow him on Twitter.
If you are interested in a Marc Pro unit, you can use coupon code "Play Ball".
Sammy and Gary discuss:
- The popular injury phrase RICE and why icing does more harm than good. How RICE came about and why it may not be the best advice for athletes to follow.
- What are ways that athletes can get active recovery and why is that the best way to stay healthy.
- The different machines with the pads that you place on your body such as TENS, STIM , EMS. What’s the difference and when should each be used.
- A video with Trevor Bauer where he talks about using the Marc Pro in between innings of a game and even sleeping with it on. Is this something the typical athlete could benefit from. What are those benefits.
A Biomechanics Lab On Your Phone with Dr Mike Sonne
Biomechanics & AI: The Future of Mechanics Development
Dr. Michael Sonne is the VP of Research and Innovation for ProPlayAI, a company focused on measuring and describing human motion. Mike is also the research director for the Baseball Development Group in Toronto, Canada, as well as an adjunct professor at Brock University. At Brock, Mike and his graduate students focus their research on better understanding the measurement and analysis of pitching mechanics. Mike has also written about pitching biomechanics for The Athletic, Hardball Times, FanGraphs, and Baseball Prospectus. Mike’s workload metric, Fatigue Units, is widely used in the MLB as a better physiological representation of pitching workload, and the metric was recently included in the Motus Baseball app.
Dr. Sonne has a wealth of experience in the research world, receiving his PhD in Biomechanics in 2014 from McMaster University. There, the focus of his research was on the assessment and prevention of muscle fatigue and musculoskeletal injury in workplaces. Since that time, he has applied the findings from the field of ergonomics to the baseball world. In 2016, his paper on the implications of Pitch Clock implementation was published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, and received national media attention. Mike is currently an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock University, and he writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs, and Baseball Prospectus Toronto. Moreover, you may heard him as a regular on Pitch Talks or more recently as a ‘Baseball Sports Science Expert’ on the Fan 590. To learn more about Mike and to read some of his awesome content you can check out his website.
In the episode Sammy and Dr Sonne talk about:
- The traditional biomechanics lab analysis
- Where the future is headed with biomechanics and coaching
- Some key metrics to look at in the biomechanics reports
- ProPlayAI's Deception metric and why the MLB is excited by it.
- Fascinating insights gained by his analysis of all the data collected
20 Year Old former College Baseball Player Obsessed with Sharing Mental Performance Training, Perry Quartuccio
Perry Quartuccio is a former college baseball player. Last February, he made the gut-wrenching decision to quit the sport he grew up playing, the sport He loved. Months later, during a nationwide pandemic, Perry found himself writing and putting together a book with hopes of giving back to the baseball community. The book is titled Reaching Home Plate: An In-Depth Guide on Getting Recruited, Conquering Adversity, and Achieving Mastery. In it, Perry shares many personal experiences as he reflects on his playing career up until the collegiate level. One personal experience Perry mentions is the time he threw 16 balls in a row in one of his first college outings. He also has over 60 college/professional players/coaches whom contribute to the book. Perry is a Mental Performance/Baseball Coach for PPH Baseball in NJ. He works with youth/high-school players leveraging his young age to relate to them and relay the mental aspect of game in an efficient manner.
Developing Velocity, Rehab & Injury Prevention with Pocket Radar's Tyler Scaturro
Tyler Scaturro is the Brand Manager of Pocket Radar Inc., which designs, engineers and manufactures revolutionary speed tracking technology for a wide-range of applications. After his collegiate baseball playing career ended at the JUCO and Div. II levels, he joined the Pocket Radar start-up team in 2012. Having a background working for a family-owned restaurant business and playing sports all the way through college, helped him adapt to the fast-moving, juggling multiple hats start-up career. Over his career with Pocket Radar, he has helped driven marketing and sales initiatives across all sports and traffic markets, at the professional and amateur levels. As the influx of new technologies begin to percolate throughout the sporting world, Tyler believes the ones that focus heavily on the “who” and not the “what” will be at the forefront of providing innovative solutions.
Pocket Radar creates trusted, high value simple solutions using superior technology to enable people to rapidly achieve their goals by delivering meaningful metrics and actionable insights. They provide an affordable and convenient solution to pro-performance radar technology, making accurate speed measurement accessible to the masses. Their doppler radar technology has also been independently tested and certified accurate by the official test lab for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the same lab that certifies all of the radar guns for use by law enforcement agencies in the US and Canada. It is currently being used at all levels of MLB organizations including players, coaches, trainers, scouting departments, rehab coordinators, player development personnel, videographers and more.
Their Smart Coach Radar model is the first pro-level speed radar that can be used stand-alone or with a free companion app. The Smart Coach App System, with its unique ability to automatically capture videos with embedded velocities, allows you to continue to work remotely with your coaches or players and participate in recruiting/scouting activities. Not only is training with video analysis a powerful development tool, it is also a method of being seen remotely. The Smart Coach Radar System allows you to record videos with speeds directly embedded inside. Share these videos with coaches and scouts and post them to social media for extra recruiting visibility. As a premier provider of training tools, Pocket Radar is working with many top training programs, including Driveline Baseball with their TRAQ system, to help athletes train and develop at home.
Sammy and Tyler discuss:
Tyler's path from college baseball player to Pocket Radar's Product Manager
Why some people call Pocket Radar the best kept secret in sports
There meeting last year at the ABCA convention and the release of Smart Coach and app
Best practices for capturing velocity and videos with Pocket Radar
What kind of impact teams and coaches have seen from using the Pocket Radar (this one might surprise you)
How kids can leverage the timing window for developing velocity.
You should follow Pocket Radar and Tyler at:
You Haven't Failed Enough to be Successful with Demetre Kokoris, MILB Pitching Coach Blue Jays Organization
Demetre Kokoris is currently a MiLB pitching coach in the Blue Jays Organization. He got his Bachelor of Science degree from the Univ. of South Carolina and his MBA from Cal St. Fullerton. At Cal State Fullerton, he was fortunate to be mentored by Dr Ken Ravizza, the Godfather of the mental game and author of Heads Up Baseball. He's coached with NCAA Div. 1 skipper George Horton (Cal St. Fullerton/Oregon) and UCSB coach Andrew Checketts when Checketts was the pitching coach at Oregon.
Demetre Kokoris has been the Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. He was the Head Coach of the Central Oregon Bucks of the West Coast Summer Collegiate League from 2011-2012. He served as a student-manager for Gamecock Baseball, reaching a Regional in 2005 & Super Regional in 2006.
Demetre and Sammy discuss:
Demetre's unconventional path as a Pitching Coach and his time with Dr Ken Ravizza
- What advice would you give to athlete's looking to get noticed and thrive in today's environment
- What are his 3 favorites and how he uses them to improve pitchers
- How the Covid situation made him a better coach
- What he would say to a high school pitcher when he visits the mound
- How he works with pitchers to determine their pitch selection
- The best piece of advice Dr Ravizza gave him
You can follow Demetre on Twitter.
Old School versus New School Pitching with Lary Sorensen, former MLB All-Star pitcher & PitchLogic Executive
How to combine data from a smart baseball with old school feels.
Lary Sorensen is a ten-year veteran of Major League Baseball. He played for a total of seven teams during his thirteen-year professional career including the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants. Sorensen finished with a career record of 93-103 and a 4.15 e.r.a., including 10 shutouts, 69 complete games and 1,736 innings pitched. Sorensen was a member of the 1978 American League All-Star team when he finished with an 18-12 record and 3.21 e.r.a.
Sorensen went on to a career in broadcasting following his retirement in 1989, working the College World Series and Major League Baseball schedule for before teaming with Frank Beckmann to broadcast the Detroit Tigers for four seasons.
A native of Clinton Township, MI Sorensen was a three-sport star at L’Anse Creuse High School before winning two Big Ten Championships at the University of Michigan, where he was a first team All-Big Ten selection and Ray L. Fisher MVP award winner his junior year. Lary was also a member of four consecutive National Championship Amateur teams, winning Tournament MVP honors twice.
He is currently an executive with F5 Sports, the makers of the PitchLogic smart baseball.
Sammy and Lary discuss:
- His All-Star appearance in 1978
- What advice would Lary give to these broadcasters to help balance out the old world with the new world of baseball
- What PitchLogic is and how you came about to be involved with the company
- How to develop a new pitch or improve their current pitches
Delivering a New WIN(ing) Reality to Hitter Development
O’Dowd had grown up with an unprecedented glimpse into the inner working of Major League Baseball (MLB). As the son of Cleveland’s assistant general manager—and later, the Colorado Rockies’ general manager—he was even observing player assessment meetings by the time he was eight years old. That insider knowledge was vital to his later success playing in the minor leagues (including for Atlanta Braves affiliate, the Mississippi Braves), and on the Chicago White Sox, when he was eventually called up in 2017.
But as the injuries piled up in his pro career, O’Dowd found it increasingly difficult to stay prepared for in-game action, especially as a hitter. There wasn’t a comparative substitute for seeing live pitching, which is vital to success at the plate. Over time, he realized this lack of preparation created an insurmountable problem, a predicament his father had just the answer for.
In 2016, O’Dowd (who was still playing at the time) and his dad founded WIN Reality, a company that melds the pair’s baseball expertise with revolutionary virtual reality (VR) technology. Using information drawn from in-game film sessions detailing pitchers’ throwing motions, and the flight paths of their balls—data that every major league team now tracks—they created an immersive program that simulates what it’s like to hit in big league games. Before long, they’d built a system that accurately captured the individual characteristics of every MLB pitcher—from Justin Verlander’s slider to Corey Kluber’s sinker—to hone in on their core company mission: helping hitters recognize pitches and build strong mental habits at the plate.
In this episode Chris and Sammy discuss:
What it was like coming from a baseball family. Many people may have seen Chris' dad, Dan O'Dowd, on the MLB network or heard his name as a GM of an MLB organization, he played professionally as a catcher and now his brother is quite a college prospect.
Chris' obsession with helping hitters see the baseball better.
A lot of people seem to be against all this technology infiltrating the game today, how would he explain to them the need for WinReality?
Some of the success stories of people and teams that have trained with WinReality.
There are several different modes to train in WinReality, they discuss each mode and why we need each one,
How important do you think it is going to be this off-season with the uncertainty that Covid brings.
What it takes to start with using WinReality on their own,
What is coming next for WinReality users?
Can you share a baseball lesson that your dad taught you that still applies to baseball and business today?
You can follow Chris and the WinReality team on Instagram and Twitter. There will be some big announcements coming from them before the end of the year.
Developing Unicorn Fastballs with Mike McGuinness and Nolan Long
Mike McGuiness (CEO) and his brother Connor McGuiness are the co-founders of the hottest pitching tool in the market, Clean Fuego. Nolan Long is a RHP in the Dodgers organization and part of the Clean Fuego team. Mike and Nolan join Sammy this week to discuss:
- The back story of their baseball careers and the development of Clean Fuego
- How Clean Fuego seemed to catch fire after the release of the viral Joe Kelley video. Dodger's pitcher, Joe Kelley breaking his window while throwing Clean Fuego.
- How Sammy did an experiment to see how it would impact his 4 seam fastball. His pitch went from around 85% spin efficiency and a week later he was consistently 90-100% and gained 200 rpm to his overall spin rate. They share other examples of people using it to improve their pitches.
- If there is a preferred age to start with Clean Fuego
- What pitch Nolan prefers to work on with Clean Fuego and what specifically he does to practice that pitch?
- Since this was recorded the night the Cy Young winners where announced, Sammy asked them to make a prediction for next years winners.
CleanFuego is an essential baseball training device for any player looking to advance their game. When training with CleanFuego, athletes can polish or learn new pitches, learn to better grip and release a baseball, work out subtle changes to their throw in real-time, and more!
CleanFuego was scientifically engineered to replicate a professional regulation baseball, but with two parallel sides to help provide immediate visual feedback to players and coaches about the throw's spin direction, spin efficiency and more.
CleanFuego Regulation weighs the standard 5.25oz like professional regulation balls. CleanFuego Overweight weighs 8oz. Some players have found that when using over weighted baseballs they subconsciously cut the ball. This "cutting" promotes an inefficient spin, which is not what the athlete is trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, with a normal ball the athlete does not have any visual cue as to whether they are cutting the ball.
Follow the Green Light Not the Noise with Coach Kyle Wagner
Sammy and Kyle discuss:
Kyle's fascinating baseball journey in baseball, as well as his coaching journey.
Kyle's “green light hitting” book and what he means by green light hitting.
What he meant when he shared “"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” Goodhart’s Law” on Twitter
What his biggest pet peeve around baseball development and coaching today?
All the changes to the baseball space because of Covid. What suggestions he has for high school athletes who are thinking about playing at the next level.
You can follow Kyle on Twitter and Instagram.
Getting our athlete's bodies back to Square 1 with Shawn Sherman
Helping baseball players perform better by dealing with compensations.
The SQUARE 1 System™ was developed by Shawn Sherman. Shawn earned his Exercise and Sport Science degree from Penn State University and operates a private practice in Western Springs, Illinois. Over the years, Shawn has held numerous industry certifications and therefore understands what and how the conventionalists think and believe. Over the past 25 years, his understanding of movement has evolved from that of an apprentice level to a level of mastery by continually seeking answers to his questions. Because he now intimately and thoroughly understands the most basic components of movement, he brings an unparalleled perspective to the table. Not only does he consistently deliver absolutely amazing results to his clients, he teaches his students to be able to do the same.
Additionally Shawn has consulted with hundreds of elite athletes from many organizations including:
- United States Olympic Team – wrestling, men's speedskating, women's soccer
- Canadian Olympic Team – women's soccer
- Russian Olympic Team – men's swimming
- Chicago Cubs
- Chicago White Sox
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Chicago Bears
- Chicago Bulls
- Indianapolis Colts
- San Franciso Giants
- Chicago Red Stars
- Chicago Wolves
- Vanderbilt University - basketball
Sammy and Shawn discuss:
- Why the Chicago Cubs hired Shawn to do MATS with their athletes? And what MATS is?
- After years of using MATS with clients you developed Square 1 to address a different need, why and what is that need?
- What does Shawn mean by a compensation and how does a dad or typical baseball coach recognize if their athlete are compensating.
- To help more coaches you developed a program called Signal 6. I remember when you came to Austin in 2018 how when I went through the Signal 6 exercises I gained a bunch of external rotation in my throwing arm. Why is it you developed Signal 6 and how will athletes like me benefit from it?
- Shawn recently launched the Signal 6 course online, and tells us more about it?
You can follow Shawn on Instagram.
Rotational Power Assessment & Development with Bill Miller, CSCS
When and how to develop rotational power in your baseball swing
Bill Miller is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist since 2017. He has a passion for learning, spreading and applying the most advanced methods of strength training for baseball players. Bill has worked with athletes from Little League through professional ranks.
He played baseball collegiately at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL, graduating with a degree in Exercises Science. Played briefly in the Frontier Baseball League for the Joliet Slammers. He currently works at Dream Big Athletics in Palatine, IL and trains personal clients out of that space.
Sammy and Bill discuss:
- “What’s the difference between a ball hit at 90 and 95 mph.” Why power and exit velocity seem to matter?
- With the athletes Bill trains what are the benchmarks he looks at on their way to 100mph exit velocity, and how does he train his athlete’s to generate more rotational power?
- What can athletes who are stuck at home do to keep developing that power?
- According to a recent article about the Dodgers they follow an old scouting mantra: power comes last. The Dodgers aggressively seek athletic, versatile players who hit for average and have strong plate discipline, believing they can teach those players to add power with swing tweaks if the contact skills and at-bat quality are already present. So why should we still train for power now?
Throwing is a Natural Movement Revolution with Virgil Vasquez
Virgil Vasquez has heard these quotes often, "if you throw, you are going to break", "throwing overhand is unnatural." Alex Trezza and himself are out to change this mindset and belief. Virgil believes that throwing is a natural motion, that anyone can learn to throw healthy. He believes this because he taught himself how to throw correctly after his 12 year career was over. His drive is to reach out to people that desire to learn how they can teach themselves to have their perfect throw.
He is currently a professional pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins Organization. Drafted in the 7th round in 2000 out of Santa Barbara High School. Signing in 2003 after being drafted in the 7th round out of UCSB. He compiled a 12 year career as a professional pitcher, playing for 5 different MLB organizations, 2 stints in the Major Leagues with the Tigers and the Pirates, pitching in 6 countries, and compiling a 101-92 record over 1,300 innings pitched. In 2015, after all of that experience, he met with a pitching coach, Caleb Balbuena, out of Sacramento, CA. After one session and the cue to "throw around a tree", something clicked and he finally learned how to throw healthy, and where power comes from in the throwing motion. He took it home with him and over the next years blended his professional experience with his love for throwing, his passion for movement, years of experience in Tai-chi, Qi-gong, and science based training. Combining it all to come up with "The Perfect Throw" and its teachings with his good friend Alex Trezza.
Sammy and Virgil discuss:
- Why he created the Perfect Throw tool.
- What the most common challenge you see with younger athletes in achieving good, healthy arm actions.
- How does thinking in revolutions or circles help pitchers increase their velocity?
- His new “sprocket drill”
- How do you define what is a good teammate?
Are You the Hunter or the Hunted Pitcher Development with Colter Bostick
How does your pitcher compare with these development benchmarks?
Sammy and Colter Bostick discuss:
- Colter's benchmark chart for development of velocity, long toss, and other key performance indicators across age groups for pitchers.
- There is a group of coaches who are against using radar guns and other tech for young athletes but your chart starts with 9U, would you use tech with younger athletes?
- How you make the measurements more understandable for the younger athletes.
- There are a lot of kids who are stuck at home and may not have access to tech like Rapsodo what are some things they can do with whatever they have from around their house.
Colter Bostick (@maximized_BSB on Twitter) grew up in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Cody, Wyoming, a place that only played baseball three months out of the year. After being forced to travel around the country to seek out the best competition, he accepted a full-ride college scholarship that brought him down to Texas. His experiences taught him the importance of having elite-level training available for athletes. He has been able to work with players from every level, and influence great amounts of development for each pitcher he has encountered.
Colter's goal for every pitcher is for them to succeed at the next levels, and to become "complete" athletes.
Training Explosive Velocity by Leveraging Fascia and Levers with Foot Doctor Esia Rivera
He holds the following degrees:
M.S. Exercise Science
M.S. Rehabilitative Sciences
B.S. Sports Management
NASM PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist)
NASM CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist)
NASE Level 2 Speed CoachFoot
On this episode Sammy and Esia discuss:
Doctor Esia 3 steps needed to train velocity effectively and how most people skip steps 2 and 3. Esia helps you understand how he trains using "triangles." youtu.be/ukIgmqMmSEM
Sammy and Esia discuss the differences that an Elite MLB pitcher displays in their mobility compared to most athletes and how to train those differences.
Whooping up Baseball Workloads with Tommy Johnson, Performance Enhancement Specialist / Baseball Pro
Tommy Johnson, MS, PES, CES, FMS, PN-1, was raised in Gaithersburg, where he started his baseball journey, playing with several local youth organizations in the area. He graduated from Quince Orchard High School, where he played and excelled during his tenure and received All County and Metro Area Honors as a Catcher. Baseball America ranked Tommy as one of the top three Catchers in the state of Maryland. He attributes much of his success during High School to the years he spent playing for the Columbia Reds in the prestigious Baltimore Metro League and on other select travel teams.
In the Fall of 2003, Tommy signed his letter of intent to attend Division I Marshall University as a scholarship player and proceeded to capture a starting position, as a freshman, on the Herd Squad as a Catcher / DH. He was a 4 year starter for Marshall and received playing awards throughout his career in both the MAC and C-USA. Tommy was also nominated for the college catchers' most prestigious Johnny Bench Award watch list. In 2008, Tommy helped Marshall to a historic record winning season as the team made it to the finals of the C-USA NCAA Championship. His college stats were impressive and Tommy was listed as one of the Top Baseball Prospects in the the East.
Three weeks after graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management and Marketing, Tommy's life long dream of playing professional baseball became a reality as he was drafted in 27th round by the Seattle Mariners Organization. An impressive first season Minor League campaign led to the honor of Tommy being chosen a "Top Prospect" by the Topps Sport Card Company. He was one of the select few in his draft class to receive a Bowman's Top Prospect Rookie Card in 2009.
After several years playing minor league baseball, Tommy felt it was time to give something back to the game by teaching young athletes how to "Play the game right." He had worked in the off-season giving lessons and working with young players. Training and teaching young athletes became his passion. The only thing that surpasses Tommy's love for the game of Baseball is his love for teaching and working with his students and seeing them succeed.
Over the last several years Tommy has continued his education. Some of the educational accomplishments he has completed are:
- Master in Science : Exercise Science with a concentration in Human Performance and Injury prevention.
- NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist
- NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
- Functional Movement Specialists level 2
- NASE Certified Speed Specialist level 2
- Precision Nutrition level 1
- Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach
- Athletes Acceration Certified Weightlifting Performance Coach & Certified Speed and Agility Coach
Tommy is now in pursuit of his PRT from Postural Restoration Institute. He aspires to receive another Master's Degree in Sports Psychology in the future.
Sammy and Tommy chat about:
- The baseball development technology and how he uses them to make better baseball player.
- His passion for learning and how it applies to helping your athletes?
- A recent Tweet you said Parents: if you want to help your athlete succeed they should invest in Whoop. I agree I have had one for several months. Can you tell us why you feel this way and what it will help parents with?
- What is his Playoff and World Series predictions?
Training Savage Velocity & Command Together with Pitching Coach Rusty Kellum
Pitching Coach Rusty Kellum combines some of the best techniques to increase velocity with those to increase command with astonishing results.
Rusty Kellum is the Pitching Coach at Bishop John J. Snyder High School in Jacksonville, Florida. A pitcher himself, for legendary Coach John Tindall at St. John’s River CC in the early 90’s, Rusty learned to work hard at his craft and has used that training as a foundation to build ballplayers to this day. Coach Kellum has been a youth and high school coach for 27 years in the Sunshine State - beginning at Forrest High School and more recently with the 5 Star National program and the Cardinals at Bishop Snyder. Coach Kellum fuses new school data and methods with his old school temperament and work ethic. A mindset of “always looking to learn, not to replace but to enlarge”, has helped Coach Kellum stay relevant to today’s modern player. Coach Kellum runs summer training in Jacksonville, Florida and also offers private lessons.
Coach Rusty Kellum asks why do you we need to train either velocity or command with our pitchers. What if we could train both. He setup an experiment and found astonishing results you will not want to miss.
Sammy and Rusty discuss:
- Coach Rusty Kellum's baseball background
- The two pitching camps
- His recent experiment to increase command and velocity. What tools he used and what he did in each session.
You can find him on Twitter: @RustyKellum.
Developing the Best Arm on Your Team with Harold Mozingo, author of Young Guns Eguide & former pro pitcher
Harold Mozingo is a former pitcher in the Royals and Blue Jays organizations. He is the author of Young Guns Eguide, a 90 page complete guide to training youth pitchers. It includes Velocity Development, Mechanics, Strength Training, Workload, Training for Control, How-To Guide's for each pitch type (including pictures of grips), Training Guides by Age, Sample Routines and more! He also offers baseball lessons and training near Tappahannock, VA.
Sammy and Harold discuss:
- How Harold's mom influenced him to become a professional pitcher and coach?
- Why do you think there are parents and coaches who struggle with understanding the things that worked for them might not work the same for everyone.
- The key difference in how baseball players in the Dominican Republic develop and what youth parents should focus on instead?
- What a freshman in high school should be focusing on in the next 4 years so that they can continue to play in college or at a pro level?
- Harold's Young Guns EGuide to developing pitchers. Why he wrote it and what you will find inside.
Baseball development & recovery with Dr. Stephen Osterer
Dr. Stephen Osterer is the owner of Baseball Development Group. He is a chiropractor, strength and conditioning coach living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A traumatic elbow injury in high school almost derailed his chances to attend Cornell University and pitch for the Big Red. In the process of seeking out treatment options, Dr. Osterer developed a strong passion for manual therapy, rehabilitation, and sports performance. The concept of combining these into a career led him to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) where he completed a Doctorate of Chiropractic graduating Cum Laude with clinical honours.
Since graduating, Dr. Osterer has gone on to oversee the health and performance of hundreds of amateur, collegiate and professional baseball players, recently culminating in opening up the Baseball Development Group - a high-performance baseball training facility in Toronto.
Sammy and Dr Osterer discuss:
- How he discovered weighted balls back in high school and led him to understand pain & injury.
- How studying to become a chiropractor helps him in his work with the Baseball Development Group.
- The well regarded Baseball Recovery Resource book that Dr Osterer developed.
- What were the surprises he found in his recovery process research
- The best recovery tip for high school athletes
- How is baseball development in Canada different that in the United States
- The @FlatGroundApp and Rawlings sponsored special recruiting showcase event he organized recently with assessments, top coaches and the latest technology.
Pushing on the Edge with MLB Agent Rachel Luba
Rachel Luba works behind the scenes of professional baseball but if you have seen Trevor Bauer's videos you might have caught a glimpse of Rachel Luba.
Sammy and Rachel discuss her journey from UCLA gymnast, to an attorney working with the MLB on player salary arbitration cases to becoming a player agent.
Why Trevor Bauer and possibly others will only be interested in one year deals with baseball teams.
How baseball can deal with the surge of young athletes making it to the big leagues and being paid for their production and the challenge of free agency.
When do high school players need to think about finding an agent or advisor.