Share in the development of a 15 year old baseball player and athlete as he interviews current & former professionals around the game of baseball. From MLB, Milb to leading coaches & thinkers in the game. The goal of the show is to help give you “bite size” episodes to improve your skills & knowledge of the game of baseball.
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.
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
You can follow Diamyn on Instagram or Twitter and YouTube.
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
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.
Jerry has written numerous articles, 3 books, chapters for 2 others, and has produced various instructional videos.
You can follow Jerry on Twitter.
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.
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.
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
You can follow Dr. Sonne and ProPlayAI on Twitter.
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.
Perry's Mental Performance Google Drive Folder
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:
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.
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
You can follow Lary and PitchLogic on Twitter and PitchLogic on Instagram.
In the spring of 2009, Chris O’Dowd the Oakland Athletics drafted him in the 40th round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. A switch-hitting catcher out of Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado, he’d become a coveted prospect after years of training alongside his father, Dan, one of the chief architects of the legendary Cleveland Indians teams of the 1990s.
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.
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.
You can follow Mike, the CEO of CleanFuego on Twitter and Instagram.
Kyle Wagner is and educator and the author of "How The RiverCats Won" and "Green Light Hitting." Kyle is a former standout high school baseball player who went on to play Division 1 baseball at Wake Forrest and a year in the pros. Kyle was part of the historic 2015 Red Land Little League team that wen on to win the United States Championship.
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.
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 White Sox
San Franciso Giants
Chicago Red Stars
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.
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?
Follow Bill on Twitter and Instagram.
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?
You can follow Virgil on Instagram and Tik Tok at Revolution Throwing.
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.
Foot Doctor Esia Rivera is a Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Consultant based in Hutto, TX. He novel approach to speed and agility training is focused on translating those abilities to the skills needed on the field. Make sure to follow Esia on Instagram.
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." https://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.
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?
You can follow Tommy on Twitter and Instagram.
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.
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.
You can find Harold on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.
You can follow Dr Osterer on Instagram and Twitter.
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.
You can follow Rachel on Instagram and Twitter.
Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, NASM CPT, FMS) is the owner and operator of Rockland Peak Performance in Sloatsburg, New York, author of the book Pitchers Arm Care, Director of the Pitching Lab, and a contributing writer for such publications as Inside Pitch Magazine, Elite Baseball Performance and Stack Sports. He has been one of the most in-demand coaches/trainers in Rockland and Bergen Counties for the past 10 years, working with players in the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Anaheim Angels, and Seattle Mariners organizations.
Nunzio has served as a speaker at clinics like Be the Best and Inside Baseball and has lectured to college exercise science departments at schools such as Penn State, Springfield College and Cortland University, among others. He has done extensive baseball mentorships with Eric Cressey of Cressey Sports Performance as well as programs with Mike Boyle (Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey, Boston Red Sox).
In this episode Sammy and Nunzio discuss:
Understanding baseball players from an Anatomy & Kinesiology
A discussion about RPP's Rapsodo Webinar
What age should kids start strength training and how often should they start training.
The difference between hyper-mobile and tight movers and tall guys.
The importance of not only working out but eating enough to keep up their gains.
What areas of focus Nunzio trains with young athletes (just entering high school).
What are the key things to look for in a performance coach as a baseball player.
You can follow Nunzio on Twitter and RPP on Twitter.
A native of New Jersey, right-handed pitcher Brandon Bielak was chosen by the Houston Astros in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft out of Notre Dame, and is rapidly ascending the ranks as a prized Houston asset.
Bielak attended St. Joseph, the same private, all-boys Roman Catholic high school in Metuchen, NJ where Jon Bon Jovi also ttended for two years some three dozen years before Bielak (pronounced BEE-lack).
A nearby Sayreville native, Bielak committed to Notre Dame following his sophomore year after being offered a full scholarship, but not before earning four varsity letters in baseball for the Falcons. Bielak posted a 0.82 ERA as a senior, striking out 87 on his way to an 8-1 record as St. Joseph went 21-9 and won the Greater Middlesex County Championship.
Having paid his 2017 dues in Houston’s lower minor leagues (rookie league, short season A), Bielak bypassed full season Class A Quad Cities to begin 2018 at Advanced-A Buies Creek, where he started half of his 14 games. He earned Carolina League mid-season All-Star recognition (with a 2.10 ERA in 55.2 IP, striking out 74 to 17 walks), which led to a spot on Houston’s Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks affiliate.
Bielak was the starter ten times in his eleven appearances for the Hooks, and his 2.35 ERA in 61.1 IP impressed Houston brass, as did his 57 Ks vs 22 walks.
Sammy and Brandon discuss:
Brandon's baseball background
How the Astro's develop their pitchers
What kind of pitcher he is
His use (or not) of Rapsodo
His pitching routines
How Brandon thinks about the mental game of baseball
How he controls the pace of the game as a pitcher
You can follow Brandon on Instagram or Twitter.
Nick Tanielu was selected in the 14th round (406th overall) in the 2014 draft by the Astros from Washington State. He had a very productive Collegiate career, .364/.433/.506/.939 in 82 games with the Cougars, and was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference team after the 2014 season. His numbers were gaudy, but his lack of power from traditionally a power position and some defensive questions prevented him from being selected higher according to scouts and other sources.
This season he is batting .297, with 17 home runs, .514 SLG and .873 OPS. He plays third base, second base and first.
Nick and Sammy discuss:
His baseball background
How the Astros organization has changed in the last few years of player development
What Nick's daily routine is like
What Nick works on in his first few rounds of batting work
How Nick works on his mobility
You can follow Nick on Twitter.
Mickey Storey, is the manager of the Astros AAA affiliate, Round Rock Express beginning in 2019. He is leading the Round Rock Express to divisional leaders in the Pacific Coast League (81-53 record as of today). He spent last season as manager for Class A Quad Cities, going 81-59 in his first year as skipper. Mickey is a former professional pitcher with the Blue Jays and Astros.
Mickey is the youngest manager at AAA at 33 years old.
Mickey and Sammy discuss:
His pathway in player development from player to manager
How the game of baseball has changed in his career
What is the most important technology he uses to help his athletes reach peak performance
How he uses video to help his players
How he is coaching his 6 year old son like a AAA baseball player
His favorite drills and the importance of repetitions
Building the culture of habits
His daily routine as Manager of a AAA team
What is the main difference between those who get called up to the show like Yordan Alvarez and those who haven't
His dream #2, #3 and #4 hitters of all time.
You can follow Mickey on Twitter and Instagram or the Round Rock Express on Twitter or Instagram.
Bo Martino Is the pitching coach at Stephen F Austin University, a D1 program based in East Texas. He is the founder of Johnny Wholestaff and the Rapsodo pitching text group.
He returned to Nacogdoches for the 2019 season following a two-year stint as the pitching coach at NCAA Division II institution Cedarville University. Through his two seasons on the Yellow Jackets' staff, Martino helped Cedarville advance to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament in 2017. At the conclusion of the 2018 campaign, one of Martino's pitchers - senior Josh Kneeland - secured All-GMAC Honorable Mention accolades after leading the team with 78 strikeouts through 38 games.
Before moving to Ohio to join up with the Yellow Jackets, Martino spent the fall of 2016 at Northeast Texas Community College. For the 2015 season, Martino was installed as the pitching coach at NCAA Division III institution LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Under Martino's watch, the YellowJackets amassed 219 strikeouts through 296 innings. That season, LeTourneau made the cut for the American Southwest Conference Tournament.
His year in Longview was preceded by a two-year stint as the 'Jacks' volunteer assistant coach in charge of pitching. Martino was instrumental in the development of SFA's Cameron Gann who was a 27th-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft. Gann currently ranks second in program history in wins and third in both innings pitched and strikeouts. Martino was also on staff at East Texas Baptist University and in the high school ranks before coming to SFA. Hailing from Marshall, Texas, Martino earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from East Texas Baptist University where he was a four-year baseball letterwinner for the Tigers.
During his junior season, he helped the squad reach the American Southwest Conference Tournament. Martino went on to collect his master's degree in human performance from SFA during his first stint on the 'Jacks' coaching staff.
Martino and his wife, Natalie, reside in Nacogdoches with their son, Bauer (named after Trevor Bauer).
Bo and Sammy discuss:
His path to be a Pitching Coach at Stephen F Austin University.
What incoming high school baseball players like Sammy should focus on to be attractive as a prospect for a D1 school.
How many people miss taking advantage of the baseball potential by missing their growth windows between 13-15.
The background on why Bo started the Johnny Wholestaff website and Rapsodo Pitching Text group.
A deeper discussion on what Rapsodo is and how it is used at a baseball program like Stephen F Austin University A look at how Bo would work with a pitcher like Sammy based on a recent Rapsodo session (a discussion of velocity, spin rate, Bauer Units, and spin axis).
Who Bo would have as his all time #2, 3 and 4 hitters in a lineup.
You can follow Bo on Twitter and Instagram.
Casey Fisk is the owner of Fisk Performance Training in Michigan. Casey played 1B, pitched, and caught at Illinois State University. He coached 10 years of High School baseball & 12 years of travel baseball. Casey played four seasons at NCAA DI Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference. During his time at ISU, Fisk was named to the MVC All-Tournament Team as a senior as he led the Redbirds to the league title and a berth in the regional tournament played that year at Oklahoma State University. He went on to play two years of professional ball in the Independent League in Champaign and Lafayette. He launched Fisk Performance Training in 2000 to train athletes to meet & exceed the physical demands of the next levels of competition. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment is being in the dugout for every single one of his three daughters' games.
Casey's dad is Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk.
Sammy and Casey discuss:
What Casey learned from his Baseball Hall of Fame dad, Carlton Fisk, that he is teaching his kids.
How Carlton Fisk's almost career injury help direct Casey life direction.
The importance of being prepared to compete at the next level.
Understanding Carlton Fisk's durability and longevity and how it can help your career.
The importance of preparing in the weight room.
Why Casey loves Bulgarian Split Squats (you may not though)
Insights into what Casey tells his hitters about pitchers and pitchers about hitters to build their confidence.
How hitters need to take advantage of fastball counts.
You should follow Casey on Twitter.
Dr. Fergus Connolly is one of the world’s leading experts in team sport and human performance. His highly acclaimed book Game Changer is the first blueprint for coaches to present a holistic philosophy for winning in all team sports. Fergus is the only coach to have worked full time in every major league around the world. He helps teams win at the highest level with the integrated application of best practices in all areas of performance. Fergus has served as Director of Elite Performance for the San Francisco 49ers, Sports Science Director with the Welsh Rugby Union, and Performance Director for University of Michigan Football. He has guided coaches, support staff and players in the MLB, NBA, Australian Rules Football and international cricket. Fergus has also trained world boxing champions and advises elite military units and companies across the globe. In his latest book 59 Lessons, Fergus Connolly shares the secrets he has learned over 20 years from some of the most famous names in sport and military – as well of the special ones you haven’t heard of! ’59 Lessons: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ shows you how you can apply these lessons to your life and work – as well as the mistakes to avoid.
In this episode Sammy and Fergus discuss:
What elite athletes, military and special forces have in common
What Fergus wishes he knew as a teen athlete
How Fergus went about studying the secrets of elite performers
And even coaching secrets from Bill Belichick
You can follow Fergus on Instagram and Twitter.
Mike Reinold, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS, C-PS is considered a world-renowned leader in the field of physical therapy, sports medicine, fitness, and sports performance. Dr. Reinold is currently the co-founder and president of Champion Physical Therapy and Performance, a physical therapy and performance training facility just outside Boston in Waltham, MA.
He is also currently the Senior Medical Advisor for the Chicago White Sox and the Director of Baseball Performance at Northeastern University, where he has been instrumental in the restructuring and building of the high performance and medical teams.
Dr. Reinold has worked for many years throughout professional baseball after having worked for Boston Red Sox for many years as Head Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist and as a consultant to the Chicago Cubs. He was a member of the 2007 World Series Champion team and focused on keeping pitchers healthy and rehabilitating players back to peak performance. Dr. Reinold redesigned the medical model throughout the major and minor league systems, developing a comprehensive program to proactively attend to imbalance, deficiencies, and poor movement patterns before injuries developed. He continues to consult with many teams and players around Major League Baseball.
Prior to the Red Sox, Dr. Reinold was formerly the Facility Director of Champion Sports Medicine and the Coordinator of Rehabilitative Research & Clinical Education at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL under the direction of legendary orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. He was involved in the rehabilitation of 1000’s of athletes from all sports and levels of play. He helped develop many of the leading rehabilitation protocols and return to sports programs that are used around the world.
Dr. Reinold also coordinated the rehabilitative research and education for the Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Division of Sports Medicine and the Sports Physical Therapy Department.
In this episode Sammy and Mike discuss:
The 4 main buckets to enhance the developing baseball player and what order they should be done
Kids who throw really hard when they are young are they more prone to injury
Should kids play catch or pitch all year long - there is a difference
Things you can do to prevent injuries
You can follow Mike on Instagram & Twitter.
Joey Myers is the founder of the Hitting Performance Lab. He played 4 years of Division-1 baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003. He is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). He also partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).
Joey is a certified Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS) through the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA), Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and Vinyasa yoga instructor…and, also certified in the Functional Muscle Screen (FMS). He has spent 15+ years in the corrective fitness field, and has a passionate curiosity to help other players – just like yours – dramatically improve performance through the science of human movement.
Sammy and Joey discuss:
What Joey means by Swing Smarter by Moving Better
The benefits of being involved in the ABCA
What is Fascia
How the Spinal Engine works
What was the best coaching advice he ever received
You can follow Joey on Twitter & Instagram.
Dustin is the owner of Pease Baseball and founder of Lokation Nation. Dustin Pease became the assistant coach at his alma mater, the Mount from 2013 to 2015. Dustin Pease made a seamless transition from professional baseball player to first-year assistant coach during the 2014 season. Pease, who works with the pitching staff at the Mount, began his coaching career after playing seven years of professional baseball. In Pease’s first season working with the Mount’s pitchers in 2014, the staff improved in a number of statistical categories from the previous season including earned run average, opponent’s batting average and walks.
During his playing days, the 2007 Mount graduate left his mark as one of the best pitchers to ever play for the Mountaineers and currently holds career records for wins (31), strikeouts (304), innings pitched (347.0) and shutouts (three). The lefty from Baltimore worked his way up the ranks from Independent leagues and caught on with the San Diego Padres organization. Before his retirement in 2013, Pease played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the Northern League in 2007-08. He went on to suit up for the Windy City ThunderBolts, Wichita Wingnuts and York Revolution before playing with the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres' Class A-Advanced team, in 2011.
Pease made it as high as AA San Antonio in 2012 and played his final season in 2013 with the York Revolution. At the Mount, Pease burst onto the scene as a freshman by earning NEC Rookie of the Year, First Team All-NEC and a spot on the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team. Two years later, Pease took home NEC Pitcher of the Year with a 10-4 record and a 3.42 ERA.
Sammy and Dustin talk about:
Dustin’s baseball background and the origin of Lokation Nation?
How do we prioritize velocity and command in terms of our development? His answer might surprise you.
The difference between high speed and low speed baseball pitchers?
Throwing blindfolded, can you do it? How consistent are you?
Getting your senses in tune to enhance your pitch delivery.
How to take advantage of pitches that have runs. How important is it for kids to learn to stabilize and use their lower half.
The best coaching advice Dustin was given.
You can follow Dustin on Twitter & Instagram.
Jeremy Sheetinger, known as "Sheets" is the College Division Liaison for The American Baseball Coaches Association and host of the ABCA Call from the Clubhouse Podcast, and the Regional Barnstormers clinics. He is responsible for helping service the membership as well as increasing the awareness and services of the ABCA to all potential members.
Before joining the ABCA, he was head coach at NCAA Div. III Spalding University in Louisville. In three seasons at Spalding, Sheetinger led the Golden Eagles to an 86-43 overall record (.667) and a 52-21 mark (.712) in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Spalding competed in three straight SLIAC Tournaments in the program's first three seasons eligible for the NCAA Div. III postseason.
In addition to Spalding, Sheetinger has also worked as the lead assistant at Saint Joseph's College in Indiana (Div. II) for two seasons and Director of Operations at University of Kentucky (Div. I) for three seasons. He also coached at Brescia University and Georgetown College (NAIA) for one season each.
Sheetinger also has experience with summer league teams, camps and academies. He has worked camps in 26 states. He played baseball and earned his undergraduate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College and also earned master's degrees from Brescia University and the University of Kentucky.
Sammy and Coach Sheets talk about:
his journey from being a college coach at every division to the ABCA
the amazing benefits of being a part of the American Baseball Coaches Association
the secret to how the ABCA attracts such a diverse group of youth, college, high school, professional coaches and baseball/softball industry professionals
the quality each of the coaches have that want to be a part of the ABCA
Sheets favorite sessions and lessons learned from all the ABCA conventions he has attended
how the data driven athlete work together with coaches to help each other with their goals
Lessons learned from over 130 podcasts interviewing baseball coaches
What baseball technology he feels will have the greatest change on the game
You can follow Sheets and the ABCA on Twitter.
Lantz Wheeler is the Founder of Baseball Think Tank. He is also the inventor of the Core Velocity Belt used by 21 MLB teams and 170+ NCAA D1 college teams. He is also the host of the Pitch a Palooza conference. Prior to establishing Baseball Think Tank, he spent 8 years coaching college baseball. During his 8 years, Lantz developed quite a reputation with 19 former pitchers being drafted by MLB teams. His staffs were twice ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA and currently 5 of his former players are pitching in MLB.
You can follow him on Instagram & Twitter.
Sammy and Lantz talk:
about the most common concerns or issues that coaches have with their pitchers
what the K-Vest and Core Velocity Belt have in common
The role of the pelvis & hips in the pitching motion
The relationships between hips & arm injuries
The biggest lessons learned in the past 5 years of running Pitch a Palooza with some of the top coaches in the country.
How mechanics start with the mind
What separates the elite level players from the rest
Alan Jaeger founded Jaeger Sports on the principle that athletes need to develop both their physical and mental skills in order to be successful in game situations. You have probably seen his J-Bands used on many baseball fields from youth athletes to the MLB. As a result of several years of coaching and and personal study was Alan Jaeger’s Mental Training Book, Getting Focused, Staying Focused, and the DVD, Thrive On Throwing, Jaeger Sports’ signature Arm Health, Strength and Conditioning Throwing Program. Along with Alan Jaeger’s passion for Yoga, this Book and DVD serve as a driving force behind all of Jaeger Sports’ training programs.
Alan’s playing experience includes Los Angeles Pierce Junior College (1984-1985), California State University, at Northridge and the Wichita Bronco’s of the Jayhawk League (1986). His college coaching experience includes four years (1990-1993) at Los Angeles Mission Junior College/College of the Canyons and seven years as an assistant coach/consultant for the Chatham A’s of the prestigious Cape Cod League.
Since 1991 Alan Jaeger, as a personal trainer and consultant, has worked with over 200 professional players, including 2002 Cy Young Award Winner Barry Zito, and All-Stars Dan Haren and Andrew Bailey. Alan, has also consulted with many schools and organizations including the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and the 2004 National Champion Cal State University, Fullerton baseball team.
With a teachers training background in Yoga and practitioner of such Far Eastern Arts as Zen and Taoism, Alan’s intention is to help athletes merge the “mechanics” of the Western athlete with the “insight” of the Far Eastern mind — to position athletes to best realize their potential on and off the playing field.
In this episode, Alan Jaeger and Sammy discuss the importance of arm care & arm strength, the importance of the breathe, the proper way to get started with long toss, defining the mental game & finding your process (this piece is priceless).
You need to follow Alan on Twitter & Instagram.
Chris Almendarez is a baseball dad and has served as the President of the Round Rock Express since October 2015. Prior to that, he was Assistant General Manager/Senior Vice President for one season and General Manager for two seasons. He joined the Express as a Senior Account Executive in October 2009. As President, Almendarez oversees all business-related aspects of the club while serving as the team's liaison for Pacific Coast League matters. He also works closely with ownership to expand the Express' footprint in the Central Texas community and maintain the club's highly-respected standing in the baseball industry.
Chris was named the Pacific Coast League Executive of the Year in 2016 and during his leadership, the franchise was awarded Minor League Baseball's John Henry Moss Community Service Award as well as Baseball America's Bob Freitas Triple-A Organization of the Year Award. While Chris was honored to be named Executive of the Year, he is most proud of the work his staff has done to capture both the John Henry Moss and Bob Freitas Awards in 2016.
Active in his Alumni Association, Chris attended the University of Houston on a baseball scholarship and graduated in 1996 with a BA in Mass Communications. He participates in the annual University of Houston baseball alumni game. Prior to his time at Houston, Chris played baseball for two years on scholarship at Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas. He also served as the Student Body President during his time at HJC.He and his family reside in Round Rock. His oldest son Chase played baseball at the University of Houston-Victoria while his youngest son, Luke, recently graduated Round Rock High School, played on the baseball team and will continue to play in college. Chris is active in youth sports in the Round Rock area and has coached over 40 teams in last 12 years.
You can follow Chris on Twitter or on Instagram.
In this episode we discuss:
His journey from college baseball to President of the Round Rock Express
His special connection to Nolan Ryan, Reid Ryan and the Ryan Family
What he has done to help both his boys reach their dreams of playing baseball in college
How the opportunity to teach baseball helps you learn the game of baseball
The best advice he has ever received about baseball & business
The two+ things he looks for in every team player
Which baseball players past, current and future have truly impressed him
Patrick Jones is the host of the Patrick Jones Baseball podcast since 2017. Patrick has built out a successful podcast that started with George Foster from the "Big Red Machine" and has included notable guests like Ben Reiter, Bronson Aroyo, Steve Delabar and a number of ‘who’s who’ in the baseball development world.
We discuss what he has learned about baseball development & podcasting over the last couple of years of interviewing some of the best in the baseball world.
Find out what Joey Votto told him about using new technology to adapt his swing.
Learn how athletes today can improve their swing with the inexpensive technology available today. You no longer need to chop wood.
Discover how a high school coach looks at players in a game and how it is very different than coaching in a lesson.
You can follow Patrick on Instagram and Twitter. You should also listen to his podcast.
Chad was a 12th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians. He also coached H.S. baseball. coach 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 remote baseball and softball training as well as a suite of products he has brought to market including the Spinner.
In today's show Sammy and Chad talk warming up on field, why do so many athletes who suffered arm/shoulder issues wish they practiced better arm care when they were younger and why he invented the Spinner.
You can find Chad on Twitter and Instagram.
Why have players like Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, George Springer and most recently Kris Bryant switched to an Axe handle? You don't need to think it is a fad or a gimmick but we'll learn more about the swing and bats as Coach Jeff Leach joins our show this week.
Coach Jeff Leach, based in San Antonio, Texas, has coached all ages of amateur baseball, most recently with the 17U South Texas Sliders, an elite travel program that has produced more than two dozen professional draft picks.
Leach also has worked extensively in player development, both as a private hitting instructor, and as the founder and director of Upper Deck Training in San Antonio, where he administers hitting programs for teams and small groups. He has been the 2014 and 2015 DBAT Sports National Instructor of the Year nominee.
You should follow him on Twitter at @CoachJeffLeach and Axe Bat on Twitter at AxeBat and Instagram at @AxeBat.
Justine Siegal is the Founder of Baseball For All. In 2015, she became the first woman to coach for a Major League Baseball organization (Oakland Athletics) and to throw batting practice to a MLB team (2011). For her work in baseball, Women’s Sport Museum honored Justine with the Trailblazer Visionary Award; espnW named her an Everyday Hero, while USA Today dubbed her as one of the top 100 most powerful people in baseball (2017). Justine received her PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Springfield College. Her A’s jersey hangs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram.
This week we are joined by Tim Jackson, General Manager of the Round Rock Express, AAA affiliate of the Astros.
Tim Jackson joined the Express staff in March of 2010. He was promoted to General Manager in October 2015 after serving as assistant GM, baseball operations for one season. In this role, will oversee the day-to-day business and baseball operations of the team. He'll also work closely with Almendarez on the Express' sales efforts.
Jackson came to Round Rock after four years at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he spent the last two years as director of baseball operations while earning his Master of Science degree in sport administration.
Prior to joining Baylor's staff, Jackson played two seasons for the Bears. A 2007 team co-captain, Jackson was named second-team CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District VI as a senior. He also earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference honors in 2007 and was named to the Big 12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll five times. Jackson earned his undergraduate degree (communications) from Baylor in August 2008.
Jackson played two seasons at McLennan Community College in Waco, where he was named a 2005 Academic All-American, following a stellar prep career at Cedar Hill [Texas] High School.
Jackson married the former Patty Wine in December 2012. Besides enjoying the sites and sounds of Dell Diamond during the baseball season, the couple enjoys spending most of their free time with their dog Toby.
Walk-up song: Bad To the Bone - George Thorogood
You can follow him on Twitter.
Mike “Hardball” Hardge was a 2nd round draft pick of the Montreal Expos in 1990. He went on to play 13 years with the Boston Red Sox, Cardinals & the New York Yankees organizations. He is the co-host of "The Bottom Line" and does commentating for the Round Rock Express, AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Mike was an integral part to the memorable 1993 team that won 100 games that was documented in the book "The Class of '93: How One Team Wrecked the Eastern League." He shares about the only time in professional baseball when his teammate, Tyrone Horn hit a 1 run, 2 run, 3 run & grand slam home run (that bat is in the Baseball Hall of Fame). Part of the discussion covers how to deal with injury and how to keep being of value to your team. Mike's passion for the game is infectious as he explains "the process" in the game and how coaches should work with kids.
Mike lives in Austin with his wife and 3 kids.
You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at hardballhardge.
Robert Bruno has been coaching for over 30 years. He started NorCal Baseball 28 years ago. They have sent over 500 guys to Division I baseball and 52 guys now in the major leagues including 10 guys that I made the All-Star team and a couple MVPs. Some of NorCal’s former players include Joc Pederson, Troy Tulowitzki and Brandon Crawford. Norcal’s program is about developing players on and off the field. It’s important to have great character and to be a great teammate because that will take you along way in life. It’s not just not about playing it’s about being ready to be your very best in life.
Bobby Tewksbary is considered by many to be the world's best hitting coach working with back-to-back MLB MVP's, he was ranked #68 Most Powerful Person in Baseball by USA Today (2016). Many people remember him for throwing in the 2015 Home Run Derby to Josh Donaldson. He continues to work with the world's top hitters as well as youth through college athletes at his facility in Nashua, NH.
He is the co-author of "Be A Hitter" and "Elite Swing Mechanics" and runs Hitting Daily, a subscription site where he publishes 5 times per week about all his thoughts on hitting. He currently is excited about his new Project TH, where he is capturing and analyzing game time data from D1-D3 and high school baseball games.
Sammy Eisenberg is a 13 year old baseball and basketball player. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and has lived in Austin, TX for the past 7 years. He is your host for the Play Ball Kid podcast.
Bobby Tewksbary is considered by many to be the world's best hitting coach working with back-to-back MLB MVP's, he was ranked #68 Most Powerful Person in Baseball by USA Today (2016). Many people remember him for throwing in the 2015 Home Run Derby to Josh Donaldson. He continues to work with the world's top hitters as well as youth through college athletes at his facility in Nashua, NH.
He is the co-author of "Be A Hitter" and "Elite Swing Mechanics" and runs Hitting Daily, a subscription site where he publishes 5 times per week about all his thoughts on hitting. He currently is excited about his new Project TH, where he is capturing and analyzing game time data from D1-D3 and high school baseball games.
Michael Mertz, was drafted in the 14th round by the Miami Marlins. As an undersized youth athlete he started his collegiate baseball career in Juco until he was able to play for Oklahoma State in the College World Series. Sammy and Michael discuss how his injury transformed him as a player as well as what he has learned from his transition to coaching from a player. He is currently coaching in Austin, TX.
Xan Barksdale is a coach with Team USA, a former professional catcher, who spent 5 years as catching coach at the University of Louisville and 4 years at East Tennessee State University. However, he is most notably recognized for the development of Catching-101.com, his best selling book Catching-101: The Complete Guide for Baseball Catchers, and Catching-101 DVD, along with numerous other camps, products, and catching apps. He has also been a featured speaker at the ABCA National Convention and other national baseball clinics. Xan is also in the Holmes Community College Hall of Fame. You can find him on Twitter at XanBarksdale and on Instagram @XanBarksdale.
Chris Colabello, author of Be A Hitter: untold secrets from the clubhouse abut becoming the best hitter you can be, played 7 years of independent professional baseball before signing with the Minnesota Twins. Chris went on to play for the Toronto Blue Jays, and Cleveland Indians. His father, Lou, played baseball in Italy for seven years, pitching in the 1984 Olympics. Look for Chris to play in the WBC (World Baseball Classic). and hopefully the Olympics.
Some Facts About Chris Colabello
Played at Division II Assumption College
Three time 1st team All-Conference (’03, ’04, ’05), two time All-Region (’04, ’05), Honorable mention All-America (’05)
Un-drafted, played seven seasons of Independent baseballl in the Can-Am League
2011 – Can-Am Player of the Year and Baseball America Independent Player of the Year
2012 – Signed with the Minnesota Twins and spent the season at AA New Britain
Named team MVP, Eastern League Post-Season All Star, and Organizational All Star
2013 – started the year at AAA Rochester and was named International League MVP, Post season All Star and Topps Minor League All Star
Made MLB debut on May 22 for the Minnesota Twins
2014 – American League Player of the Week in the first week of the season
Set Twins franchise record for RBI in April (27) passing Kirby Puckett
2015 – Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays
Helped lead a record setting Blue Jays attack to its first post season birth in 22 years while batting .321, with 15 home runs, and 54 RBI
Andrew McKirahan, a LHP, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2011. He played in the Marlins, Braves, and Reds organizations. He is currently finishing his degree in Kinesiology at the University of Texas Austin.
Oscar Rodriquez, is currently a Senior Account Manager for the Round Rock Express, the AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros. He also coaches the 12u select team for the Express, runs many of their camps and acts as an interpreter for several of their latin players. A former collegiate player who competed with Bryce Harper and played in the Washington Nationals Organization.
Oscar provides some great insights into his baseball journey, along with that of some of the professionals he is around in the Express organization as well as today's kids. He chats about his experience developing his baseball skills in the Dominican Republic. We even chat about Fortnite and it's impact on baseball.
This episode was recorded in the empty stands of the Dell Diamond. We have a surprise opening for the first few seconds. Stay tuned.
You can follow Oscar on Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/orodriguezjr12/ and follow the @RRExpress.
Mason Thompson was a 3rd round draft pick for the San Diego Padres. He shares a bit about his journey from getting Tommy John to being a highly regarded prospect. This spring he is sitting up to 97 mph with 4 top quality pitchers. Mason was born and lives in Round Rock, TX. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @MasonThompson22.
David Goforth pitched professional for the Brewers and the Nationals organizations. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Goforth in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft after the season. He pitched in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2015 through 2017. He is currently a free agent. This is a terrific conversation around what separates those that make it to the bigs and those that don't.
Dustin Geiger currently plays as a corner infielder for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. He was selected by the Cubs in the 24th round of 2010 draft; signed July 2, 2010. Dustin was born in Merritt Island, Fla. and currently lives in Austin, TX. Last year, Dustin batted around .350 with 25 homeruns.
You can follow Dustin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/d_geiger and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/d_geiger24/.
Follow us at http://playballkid.com.