Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why it is easy to root for R.A. Dickey

Rob NaddelmanProfileRob Naddelman: Through a Parent’s Eyes

A few months back I was driving to Baseball Factory during my morning commute and tuned into NPR. I turned on the station in the middle on an interview and was surprised to hear people talking about the science of throwing a knuckeball. Most NPR topics are about politics, business, entertainment, etc. As a baseball fanatic, I was excited to continue listening to the interview to see who was being profiled.

The interview was with R.A. Dickey, the knuckleball pitcher for the NY Mets. The piece covered a variety of topics, and it was endearing to hear Dickey recount his path to the big leagues and the numerous obstacles he encountered along the way.

He did not have the easiest childhood by his own admission. His mother was an alcoholic, he frequently fled home and spent many nights alone in vacated homes, and he was the victim of abuse. He often felt lost and confused.

He was a very bright young man and he channeled his energies into his school work and the baseball field. He eventually went on to play in the SEC at the University of Tennessee as an English Major and Academic All American. During the interview, he said that if he wasn’t a MLB player, he probably would have pursued a career as an English Professor.

R.A. wasn’t always a knuckeball pitcher. In college, he was a traditional pitcher (and a very successful one) and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round (18th overall) of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.

Based upon information taken below from Wikipedia, you will see that the post-draft happenings for Dickey quickly turned disastrous. After being drafted by the Rangers, Dickey was initially offered a signing bonus of $810,000. However, close to the day he was set to sign his professional contract, a Rangers team physician saw Dickey's throwing (right) arm hanging oddly in a picture. The Rangers subsequently did further evaluation of Dickey, leading to the discovery of a missing ulnar collateral ligament of elbow joint, and reduced their offer to $75,000. Dickey has been quoted as saying "Doctors look at me and say I shouldn’t be able to turn a doorknob without feeling pain," making his ability to pitch somewhat remarkable. Against the better judgment of some people, Dickey accepted the $75,000 and reported to minor league camp with the Rangers.

Dickey debuted with the Rangers in 2001. "His stuff was dime-a-dozen, though: a high-80′s fastball, an occasional fringy breaking ball, and a forkball he dubbed 'The Thing.' The start of the 2004 season was thought to be a turning point in Dickey's career, as he managed to compile a 4-1 record through his first five starts. This hot streak was short-lived however, and he ended up finishing the season a disappointing 6-7 with a 5.61 ERA.

As a way to revive his career, in 2006, Dickey turned himself into a knuckleball pitcher and proceeded to bounce around with many organizations including the Brewers, Twins, and Mariners. In 2010, he signed with the New York Mets and was promoted to the big leagues. After signing a two year deal with the Mets that year, he began to see more consistent results and he is currently at the top of most National League Pitching categories this year. Some experts think he will be named the starting pitcher for the National League in the MLB All Star Game.

The most appealing thing to me about Dickey is that he never gave up and never made any excuses. He took all of his adversity in stride and motivated himself to improve. Not many players would accept a $75,000 signing bonus after initially being offered $810,000. In addition, it takes a certain type of person to “re-invent” themselves which is exactly what Dickey did by becoming a knuckleball pitcher. He did all of this, after battling back from a very trying childhood, one that any parent would hope their child would never have to experience.

To me, R.A. Dickey is a great role model for kids and I hope he continues having success at the MLB level. I will be rooting for him…even though I am a Yankee fan and he plays for the Mets.

Rob Naddelman is the President of Baseball Factory. Naddelman is a former two-time All Ivy League Third Baseman at the University of Pennsylvania, where he competed in a College World Series Regional. He has served as the President of Baseball Factory for the past 14 years, and also is the Executive Director of Baseball Factory's charitable arm Baseball Factory and Team One Foundation. Naddelman and Steve Sclafani (CEO) have been featured in Business Week and CNN for their work in building Baseball Factory into the nation's leader in player development and college placement.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Former Under Armour All-Americans to Watch for in MLB Draft

Steve Bernhardt ProfileSteve Bernhardt: Building the Better Ballplayer




As we get set for the first round of the MLB Amateur Player Draft TONIGHT at 7:00 ET, I took a quick look at five (of the many) talented prospects to watch for in this year’s class. Specifically, I looked to players from the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game. Each of the five players below have finished their high school career with a strong senior campaign and I look forward to watching the draft unfold for these young men.

Byron Buxton  The top player heading into the 2012 draft is coming off a storybook senior season in which he led Appling County to its first-ever Georgia State Championship and was also named Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Buxton, a 2011 Under Armour All-American, has the top tools in the country and could very well be the first selection in the draft tonight.

Who can he become in MLB?  Matt Kemp

Gavin Cecchini  Last year’s Under Armour All-America Game MVP could very well be the best “true baseball player” in this year’s draft. Gavin hit .413 with 7 HR, 32 RBI and 32 SB on his way to winning a State Championship this spring playing for his father at Barbe High School. He was also named the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year.

Who can he become in MLB? Michael Young

Ty Hensley  Hensley, a 2011 Under Armour All-American, is yet another recent winner of his state’s Gatorade Player of the Year award and should also be a first round selection. He finished the season a perfect 10-0 on the mound with a 1.52 ERA and 111Ks in 55 1/3 IP. He also hit .447 at the plate with 10 HR and 41 RBI.

Who can he become in MLB? Phil Hughes

Carson Kelly The 2011 Under Armour All-American and four-time Under Armour Pre-Season All-American had an outstanding senior year. He hit .389 with 5 HR and 26 RBI while going 6-3 on the mound with 80 Ks and only 7 BBs in 58 IP. Carson was named the Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year. He is also worthy of a first round selection.

Who can he become in MLB? David Freese

Stryker Trahan Stryker’s left-handed hitting ability, along with his power, provide a rare combination that has serious value. His physical build can withstand the grind of catching every day and his speed and athleticism are rare for the position. He should hear his name called in the first round tonight.

Who can he become in MLB? Victor Martinez

I'd like to wish all our former players the best of luck in this year's draft and continued success at the next level.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baseball Factory to Launch First Catch Program

Jeff BrazierJeff Brazier: First Catch Program


I remember the day I got the call. Working at my desk, an unknown number appeared on my phone. I recognized the local area code, so I answered. It turned out to be my father’s doctor, not out of the ordinary given that both my parents are deaf and I’ve taken many calls on their behalf over the years. But this call was anything but ordinary. I tried to focus as the doctor spoke to me, but my entire childhood was flashing before my eyes…

Although I am in my early 30’s now and my earliest memories are starting to fade, I will never forget the First Catch. It was on my 5th birthday that I received my first baseball glove. From the smell of the leather, to the feel of it on my hand, it is something I will never forget. Even now as I reflect on that moment, the memory is a strong as ever. My dad and I immediately took to the yard for that first catch. We went on to have many more games of throw and catch from that day on, but the first will always be the best.

The doctor had finished explaining the situation to me but it felt like an hour passed before I said a word. My father has cancer. The diagnosis was an early stage of prostate cancer. Since it was detected early, my dad would be eligible for surgery. He elected to do so and I am happy to report that he has been cancer free now for five years. I believe this is only possible because of his regular checkups. Early detection saved his life.

Since the day I received that phone call, I have wanted to help promote the early detection of prostate cancer. As a young boy growing up, baseball was the best time my dad and I spent together. He often worked overtime or even a second job to help provide for our family, but no matter how much he worked if I asked him to play catch, he would. It wasn’t until last winter,after having a first catch moment with my own son, that my idea for the First Catch Program was born. This June, Baseball Factory will launch the First Catch Program to raise awareness for prostate cancer and the importance of early detection. As we recognize our fathers and grandfathers during the month of Father’s Day, let’s also encourage them to get screened for prostate cancer.

On behalf of the First Catch Program, during the month of June Baseball Factory will donate $1 from every Under Armour National Tryout registration to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In addition, players that register for an event will have the option to donate $1, $5 or any additional amount to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. As part of the ongoing efforts to raise awareness this month, players who attend an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout will receive a specially designed Under Armour Baseball Factory t-shirt. The design will feature an alternative light blue logo to represent prostate cancer awareness. Additional t-shirtswill be available for purchase from our online store and all proceeds will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Our web site will also go light blue for the month of June to remind visitors of the special efforts being made on behalf of the program. Finally, we will encourage our families to share videos and photos of “playing catch” on our Facebook Page. On Father’s Day we will select two finalists for a special contest to take place the last week of June. The photo or video that earns the most Likes during this time will receive two tickets to the Championship Game at this year’s Little League Baseball World Series!

This June, please support First Catch in your families, leagues and communities!

Click the button below to donate.

A New Paradigm for Young Players and Statistics

Rob NaddelmanProfileRob Naddelman: Through a Parent’s Eyes

I remember being a young baseball player and being obsessed with my statistics. After every game I tracked my batting average and various other traditional statistical categories like doubles, triples, runs scored, stolen bases, etc. I think I was as young as nine years old when I started doing these statistical calculations after every game.

Now that I have my own kids and I am coaching them in their various endeavors (currently I am coaching my oldest daughter in softball and she is close to nine years old) I am going to work hard to move in the opposite direction. While our team keeps a scorebook for each game, I have no plans to calculate statistics for any of the players because I don’t think it has a lot of positive benefit. Here’s why…

If you start measuring success on the field by the number of hits you have, or how high your batting average climbs, you can tend to ignore some major components of baseball/softball that over time will lead to success. I would rather see my young kids get excited when they swing at a strike and hit the ball hard with good mechanics, versus getting a soft infield hit that is placed in the right spot. I would rather see them celebrate when the team scores a run on a well-executed unselfish approach at the plate, versus a player ignoring a bunt sign from a coach and swinging away to drive in a key run. Especially at a young age, coaches/parents should be focused on execution and doing things the right way on the field, versus the outcome.

If I were keeping hitting stats for my team, I would probably track how many times a player swung at a strike versus a ball. I would also track balls that were hit hard with solid contact, versus glancing contact, no matter what the result would be. Instead of tracking fielding errors, I would give them points for getting in the proper fielding position and catching it cleanly. Over time the results will come if you focus on doing things the right way. In this game, all we can do as players is have a good plan on the field and execute properly in key situations. What happens after that is sometimes out of our control.

Statistics are a huge part of the game at the higher levels. The sabermetric crowd is inventing new stats every year to help us interpret the game and glean information on our opponents. Our young kids have years before they need to get wrapped up in this obsession. For now, as coaches and parents, let’s focus on praising them for their approach and attitude versus the result.

Rob Naddelman is the President of Baseball Factory. Naddelman is a former two-time All Ivy League Third Baseman at the University of Pennsylvania, where he competed in a College World Series Regional. He has served as the President of Baseball Factory for the past 14 years, and also is the Executive Director of Baseball Factory's charitable arm Baseball Factory and Team One Foundation. Naddelman and Steve Sclafani (CEO) have been featured in Business Week and CNN for their work in building Baseball Factory into the nation's leader in player development and college placement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Factory Alumni Player Update: Matt Olson

Steve Bernhardt ProfileSteve Bernhardt: Building the Better Ballplayer
Congratulations to Under Armour All-American Matt Olson who finished his high school career by leading Parkview HS to their second consecutive Georgia Class AAAAA State Championship. Olson was a one-man wrecking crew in the State Championship best of three series against Brookwood. In Game One, Olson pitched a complete game, getting the victory while giving up only two unearned runs and striking out seven. At the plate, he hit a 2-run HR off of Brookwood’s Lucas Sims, one of the top pitchers in the country. In Game Two, Olson came to bat in a 3-3 tie in the top of the 7th inning and promptly broke the tie with a majestic HR that cleared the batting cages behind the right field wall. Parkview went on to win 6-3 and clinch the State Championship. For the season, Olson went 12-1 on the mound and hit .407 with 11 HRs and 51 runs batted in, including the HR off of Sims and one off of top LHP Max Fried at the National High School Invitational earlier in the season. Olson should hear his name called early in next week’s draft despite his commitment to play at Vanderbilt.



Steve Bernhardt is the Executive VP of Baseball Operations with Baseball Factory. Bernhardt played for five years in the Colorado Rockies organization. As Executive VP of Baseball Operations at Baseball Factory, he oversees all events and instruction. Bernhardt formerly served as an Associate Scout with the Colorado Rockies. He received his B.S. from the University of Richmond where he was an All-Conference player.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baseball Factory Alumni Update

Steve Bernhardt ProfileSteve Bernhardt: Building the Better Ballplayer

Here are more Factory alums that have had outstanding performances so far this year:
College Notes

Ray Angelucci | SUNY Cortland | RHP
Ray has been a major reason that Cortland is 35-7-1 on the year. He has been the ace of the staff going 10-1 with a 1.19 ERA and holding opponents to a .157 average against him.
Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

Pablo Bermudez | Florida International University | OF
Pablo is swinging the bat very well late in the season for the Golden Panthers. The toolsy outfielder is currently hitting .320 with 13 doubles, three home runs, 23 runs batted in and 12 stolen bases.
Baseball Factory Events: 2006 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2006 and 2007 Team One South, 2007 Under Armour Cape Cod High Classic

Josh Elander | Texas Christian University | C

Elander starred for Team USA last summer and is heating up this spring at TCU. His numbers currently stand at .317 average, nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 34 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. Expect to hear Josh’s name called earlier in next month’s MLB Draft.
Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2008 Under Armour Pre-Season All America Tournament, 2008 Under Armour All-America Game

Zane Evans | Georgia Tech | C/P

Zane came through in the clutch last weekend against the University of Virginia in the final game of their series. In the top of the 10th inning he belted a 2-run home run with two outs to put the Yellow Jackets on top. In the bottom of the inning he took the mound to get the final two out and his fourth save of the season.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament

Goose Kallunki | Utah Valley University | 1B

Goose has been an offensive force for the Wolverines this spring, helping them to an unbelievable 32-game winning streak that was recently ended. For the season Goose is hitting .417 with 14 doubles, 15 home runs and 76 runs driven in.
Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2007 Baseball Factory Omaha World Series

Jake McGuiggan | Harvard | SS

Jake finished the year as the Crimson’s leading hitter. His final numbers were a .352 average with 11 doubles, two home runs and 21 runs batted in.
Baseball Factory Events: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2006, 2007, 2008 Baseball Factory Cape Cod Training, 2006, 2007, 2008 Baseball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament, 2009 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament

Kyle McLain | Washington and Jefferson | 3B
Kyle has been an instrumental part in Washington and Jefferson’s 35-8 record on the season. The 3B has posted big numbers, hitting .409 with 36 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases.
Baseball Factory Events: 2008, 2009 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

Benton Moss | University of North Carolina | RHP
Benton has settled into the Saturday starter role for the Tar Heels in this, his freshman season. With wins over UVA and Georgia Tech he has boosted his record to 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 63 Ks in 60 IP. In addition, this true student-athlete is a Morehead Cain Scholar at UNC.
Baseball Factory Events: 2010 Under Armour All-America Game

David O’Neil | University of South Carolina Beaufort | 3B
Gabe Torres | University of South Carolina Beaufort | 2B/SS

David and Gabe were instrumental in Sand Sharks’ incredible regional run that has resulted in the school’s first trip to the NAIA College World Series. Torres had several clutch hits and is hitting .330 on the year with six doubles, 20 RBI and 13 stolen bases. O’Neil is hitting .300 with 12 doubles, a home run, 30 runs batted in and 18 stolen bases.
Baseball Factory Events: 2006 Baseball Factory College Recruiting Program, 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2007 Baseball Factory Dodgertown World Series Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Baseball Factory Personal Video Program, 2008 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament

High School Update
Lewis Brinson | Coral Springs High School | OF
Lewis finished his season strong facing quality pitching in South Florida. For the season, he hit .394 with 22 runs scored, four doubles, four triples, four home runs, 21 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. The University of Florida commit should be selected on the first day of the MLB Draft next month.

Byron Buxton | Appling County High School | CF/P

The best high school player in the country this year continues to show why. He has led his team to the Georgia AA Final Four with his bat, defense and pitching. In the 2nd round of the State Tournament he set the tone with a 3 hit shutout in Game 1 and went 3-4 with two doubles and two RBI in the deciding Game 3. One of the three runs he scored was on a deep sacrifice fly where Buxton scored all the way from second base. In their latest state tournament series, Byron won the first game on the mound with a complete game 8-inning performance in which he also homered to deep left and scored the winning run after leading off the 8th inning with a single.

Gavin Cecchini | Barbe High School | SS

Gavin led the Barbe team, coached by his father Glenn, to yet another State Championship. The sure fire 1st rounder capped off his incredible high school career with an outstanding senior season. Gavin finished with a .413 average with six doubles, seven home runs, 32 runs batted in and 31 stolen bases.

Ty Hensley | Edmond Santa Fe High School | RHP

Ty finished his outstanding career dominating on the mound. In the first round of the Oklahoma State Tournament he threw a complete game 1 hitter with 13 Ks in a 4-1 win over Stillwater. In this start he showed the stuff we have become accustomed to seeing from Ty – a 92-96 mph fastball with his hammer curve and solid change. He appears to have cemented his status as a 1st round selection.

Steve Bernhardt is the Executive VP of Baseball Operations with Baseball Factory. Bernhardt played for five years in the Colorado Rockies organization. As Executive VP of Baseball Operations at Baseball Factory, he oversees all events and instruction. Bernhardt formerly served as an Associate Scout with the Colorado Rockies. He received his B.S. from the University of Richmond where he was an All-Conference player.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flat Feet Can Affect Your Balance

Guest Blogger: Steve L. Rosenberg, DPM
Arch Specialist for Baseball Factory
http://www.archspecialist.com/ia-baseball.shtml

All sports require balance to be successful and baseball is no exception.

What should a coach look for in their players at any age? The answer to that question is balance, because a player who demonstrates balance at any age or level is more likely to be successful at the plate, pitching and in the field. Coaches continue to preach that players should get the balls of their feet on the ground and when that is consistent in a player they have conquered an important part of the game. No matter what your skill set is there are many drills that will help develop speed, foot work, timing, rhythm and hand eye coordination; however, knowing that your feet are supported and your lower half is stable and balanced makes it much easier to get results.

In my practice the first thing that I determine when I’m evaluating a player is what his feet are doing when they hit the ground. If the player’s foot is flat it can lead to balance problems. Whatever age the player is, it is very important to check out their feet to see if they are flat footed. A flat foot is an unstable foot and is more likely to break down, fatigue and become problematic. Flat feet will also affect the player’s ability to transfer his body weight when on the mound at the plate or in the field. If a pitcher consistently collapses his back leg, the pitching coach should check his feet. A flat foot will probably be the reason for the collapse. I always suggest to coaches that if they truly want to know whether their player will have balance issues, check out their feet. Flat feet or abnormally pronated feet is a major contributing factor to an unbalanced lower half. Flat feet can also lead to foot problems in players such as plantar fasciitis, muscle spasms, lower leg fatigue and not getting the most efficiency out of your lower half.

Many players’ have flat feet and are unaware of how it can affect their balance during the game. Arch supports and orthotics continue to be the best way to create better balance in the lower half and change a player’s foot mechanics. Arch supports are designed to stabilize abnormal foot mechanics and treat flat feet. Instant Arches® Baseball is an arch support specific for baseball cleats and supports the player’s feet throughout all aspects of the game.


Dr. Steven L. Rosenberg is the official Arch Specialist of Baseball Factory & Softball Factory. Dr. Rosenberg is a podiatrist in private practice spanning over 27 years, specializing in sports medicine, pain management and all other aspects of podiatry. His practice is located in Santa Monica, California. He has lectured worldwide and is a regularly featured blogger on the Huffington Post AOL. He has authored numerous articles on foot injuries, injury prevention, women’s shoe issues, foot biomechanics, and the treatment of foot problems through utilization of eastern and western medicine. Dr. Rosenberg is the CEO and President of Foot Products Enterprises Inc., which manufactures the unique arch product, Instant Arches® for baseball and softball. These Arches are also available for running shoes, all athletic shoes, sandals, flip flops casual and dress shoes. Dr. Rosenberg’s Instant Arches®, sold worldwide, are worn by men and women of all ages from preteens to adults. For more information on Instant Arches visit http://www.instantarches.com/ia-baseball.shtml.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baseball Factory Alumni Update

Steve Bernhardt ProfileSteve Bernhardt: Building the Better Ballplayer

Here are more Factory alums that have had outstanding performances so far this year:
College Notes

Justin Anderson | Stevenson University | 1B
Justin has piled up impressive numbers so far this season with .400 average, 14 doubles, two home runs and 32 runs driven in on the year. He was named CAC Offensive Player of the Week earlier in the season.
Baseball Factory Events: Private Hitting Lessons at Baseball Factory Headquarters

Joey Belviso | Mars Hill College | OF
Belviso was recently named First Team All-SAC as an outfielder. He is hitting .404 on the season with 15 doubles, nine home runs and 51 RBI.
Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Under Armour Cape Cod Classic

Alexi Colon | Tusculum | OF
Alexi has helped to lead Tusculum to an impressive 40-7 record this season. His impressive offensive numbers include a .336 average with 10 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs, 40 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases
Baseball Factory Events: 2006 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2007 Under Armour Pre-Season All- America Tournament

Joey Cuda | Eckerd College | RHP
Joey has picked up where he left off in 2011 when he was named the Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Year. For the 2012 campaign he is 5-3 with two saves and a 2.82 ERA. He has 91 Ks in 70.1 IP.
Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

KJ Hockaday | University of Maryland | 3B
KJ has stepped in as a true freshman and made an immediate impact for the Terrapins. He has helped lead them to a 25-14 record and has posted the following numbers to date in the tough ACC: .319 average, six doubles, two triples, two home runs and 18 runs batted in.
Baseball Factory Events: 2010 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

Kevin Kean | Anne Arundel Community College | OF
Kevin has spent the season wreaking havoc for AACC. He is hitting .420 with seven doubles, three triples, 38 RBI and 58 runs scored, and he leads the nations in stolen bases swiping 52 in 54 attempts.
Baseball Factory Events: 2008 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

Jordan Kipper | Central Arizona Community College | RHP
Kipper has been a top arm for the Central Arizona squad this spring. He is currently 7-2 with a 2.04 ERA and 58 Ks in 66.1 IP.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Under Armour Premium Video Program, 2009 Team One West, Team One Futures Game, Under Armour Southwest Regional Tournament, 2010 and 2011 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament

Steve Maher | University of St. Thomas (MN) | RHP
Maher has been a main reason that the Tommies are currently 22-4 and ranked #3 in the nation. He is a perfect 9-0 on the mound with a 1.56 ERA and 59 Ks in 56 IP.
Baseball Factory Events: 2008 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

Tyler Moore | University of North Florida | RHP
Tyler has been dominant this spring for North Florida. He sports a 5-1 record along with a 1.91 ERA. He also has 62 Ks in 47 IP and is holding opponents to a .199 average.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Team One South

Jared Ruxer | University of Louisville | RHP
Ruxer has been an instrumental part in the Cardinals’ outstanding season and Top 25 ranking. The freshman is a perfect 5-0 on the mound with victories over then 12th ranked Ole Miss and #1 Kentucky – a game in which he threw six scoreless innings against the top-ranked team in the nation.
Baseball Factory Events: 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2007 and 2008 Baseball Factory’s Freshman/Sophomore Team at the Arizona Fall Classic, 2009 Team One West, 2009 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament

High School Update

Tyler Gonzales | Madison HS | RHP/SS
Tyler has been lights out recently and is making a strong push to have his name called on the first day of the draft. On Aril 9th he threw a complete game shutout in which he gave up only an infield single and struck out 18 hitters. In his last few outings, reports have the former Under Armour All-American in the 92-96 mph range while commanding his mid 80s slider that is a true swing-and-miss pitch.

Teddy Stankiewicz |Fort Worth Christian | RHP
Stankiewicz has continued to improve his draft stock throughout the spring. He currently has an 8-2 record with eight complete games – four of them shutouts. His ERA is a miniscule 1.08 and he has 103 Ks against only 14 walks. His ideal pitcher’s frame and outstanding stuff combined with the advanced command he is showing this spring have moved the big UA All-American into first round consideration.

Nick Travieso | Archbishop McCarthey | RHP
Nick continues to put his name on the short list of true power arms in this year’s draft. In his last outing he no-hit the formidable Gulliver Prep line-up and struck out nine in the process. Reports had him sitting in the mid 90s and touching 99 in that dominant performance. The plus velocity combined with his hard slider and improving command have Nick also in the first round conversation.

Steve Bernhardt is the Executive VP of Baseball Operations with Baseball Factory. Bernhardt played for five years in the Colorado Rockies organization. As Executive VP of Baseball Operations at Baseball Factory, he oversees all events and instruction. Bernhardt formerly served as an Associate Scout with the Colorado Rockies. He received his B.S. from the University of Richmond where he was an All-Conference player.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Your Innate Potential and Mine

Garrett KramerGuest Blogger: Inner-Sports

by Garret Kramer
Did you know that when you disagree with the actions of another person, and are upset or frustrated, that you possess the potential to quickly get over your errant thinking and mood, to forgive, and to flourish? Whether you want to or not, that’s a different matter.

A few weeks ago, for example, I was stuck on a train of judgmental thoughts. Over and over, my thinking focused on my son’s baseball coach and one of his decisions regarding my son. I disagreed with the coach. And for two days, I went back and forth analyzing why he made this decision. Was he out to show my son who was boss? Had my son not set a good example for his teammates? How was this situation going to affect my son in his future baseball endeavors?

As you can imagine, the more I worked myself into this wayward mind-set, the worse I felt and the further from the truth I ventured.

Rule number 1: If you are upset about and disagree with the actions of another person, and think these actions are the source of your low mood, it’s you who isn’t seeing things clearly.

You see, my issue was not disagreeing with the coach. My issue was attributing my unhappiness to the coach’s conduct, when, in truth, my unhappy feelings originated from my own thoughts—and only my own thoughts.

My point is understanding that your thinking is the sole source of your feelings is the difference between allowing yourself to be a victim of uncontrollable circumstances, and realizing that you are steering the ship. In other words, if you believe that your life situations are in charge—outside in—you exist at the mercy of whatever happens to you; if you know that your thinking is in charge—inside out—you will naturally adapt from within (in spite of what happens to you) in order to maintain your own inner peace.

Now, this is not to say that I’ve grown to like the decision or agree with the coach. But since I realized that the quality of my thinking and state of mind were creating my perception of the matter, I ceased trying to make sense of it from such a low place. Thus, innately, my mood ascended to a perspective where I can make a sound choice about what to do next.

Rule number 2: The potential rests within you, no matter how disturbing a situation looks, to feel different about it—without trying to change it.

So, what did I decide to do next? Write this article, for starters, with the hope that you will profit from my temporarily misguided perception. How did I come to make this choice? Well, I certainly didn’t try to think positively, vent my frustration,  or pretend that I wasn’t  displeased—which would have only added more fuel (thought) to the fire, energizing my current negativity. Instead, I pulled back in the moment, went about my business, and, as my well-being automatically heightened, I started to view the same outside situation differently. To be specific, I recognized the value in the coach and recalled the productive choices he has made for my son over the years.

There was something else I noticed, too: Perhaps, innocently, the coach wasn’t seeing things clearly when he made this particular decision about my son—a tendency that, from time to time, we all have in common. 


Garret Kramer is the founder and Managing Partner of Inner-Sports.com. Inner-Sports evaluates and then coaches athletes of all ages on the behavioral characteristics that lead to peak performance on and off the field of play. Inner-Sport’s evaluative partner has created the behavioral assessment used at both the National Hockey League and the Major League Lacrosse scouting combines. Inner-Sports and Garret work with Baseball Factory players at select player development events.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Factory Players Staying Hot: Update

Steve Bernhardt ProfileSteve Bernhardt: Building the Better Ballplayer

Here are more Factory alums that have had outstanding performances early in the year:

College Notes

Dan Child | Oregon State University | RHP
Dan threw eight scoreless innings over the weekend in leading the Beavers to a 9-0 win over Pac 12 opponent University of Washington. This pushed Dan’s record to 3-1 on the year with a 1.54 ERA.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Under Armour All-America Game

Garrett Fanchier | Belmont University | RHP
Garrett has emerged as one of the top closers in Division I baseball this season. In 15 appearances, Garrett has nine saves and is holding opposing hitters to a .232 average.
Baseball Factory Events: 2005 Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2006 Baseball Factory Pre-Season All-America Tournament

Brendon Hardin | Amherst College | 2B
Hardin is off to a torrid start for the Jeffs. The freshman is hitting .460 with three doubles, 11 runs batted in and three steals through the first 14 games of his college career.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout

Joe Hudson | Notre Dame | C
The junior catcher is leading the Fighting Irish in hitting with a .415 average and leads the entire Big East Conference with a .528 OBP. Joe has eight 2B, one 3B, three HR and 24 RBI on the year.
Baseball Factory Events: 2006 Team One South Showcase, 2007 Under Armour Premium Video Program, 2009 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament

Justin Leeson | Georgetown University | CF
Justin has posted a solid early season line for the Hoyas. The junior outfielder has started all 28 games and is hitting .358 with six 2B, two 3B, one HR, 15 RBI and 12 SB.
Baseball Factory Events: Private Hitting Lessons at Baseball Factory Headquarters

Jensen Park | University of Northern Colorado | OF
Another true freshman that has made an immediate impact at a Division I program, Jenson has played in each of the Bears’ 22 games so far this season. The native of Hawaii is hitting .365 with five 2B, two 3B and 14 RBI.
Baseball Factory Events: 2010 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2010 Team One West Showcase

Dayne Quist | UC Davis | LHP
Dayne has been dominant for the Aggies in the early season. Last weekend he won the series opener against the University of Hawaii by going seven innings and striking out nine. Fellow Baseball Factory Alum Tino Lipson provided the offensive support going three for five and scoring two of UC Davis’ five runs. For the season, Dayne is 4-0 with 1.99 ERA with two complete games and 48 Ks while only walking six batters.
Baseball Factory Events: Team One World Series

Travis Radke | University of Portland | LHP
Radke is yet another freshman who has stepped in to contribute immediately. He has been nearly unhittable on the mound going 5-1 with a 1.00 ERA and holding opponents to a .127 average against him. His ERA and opponents AVG both lead the entire West Coast Conference.
Baseball Factory Events: 2008 Team One Preview, 2009 Team One West Showcase, Team One Futures Game, Baseball Factory’s Arizona Junior Fall Classic Team, 2010 Team One West Showcase

Matt Sergey | Campbell University | RHP
Sergey is one the main reasons that the Fighting Camels have been such a pleasant surprise this season. His 3-0 record, 2.83 ERA and 49 Ks in 47.2 IP have helped lead Campbell to a 25-4 start.
Baseball Factory Events: 2006 Baseball Factory National Tryout, 2006 Team One South Showcase

Wade Wass | Meridian CC | C
Wade is putting up ridiculous numbers through the first 31 games of Meridian’s season. He is coming off a week in which he was named the NJCAA National Player of the Week after hitting .600 with four HR and seven RBI in three games. For the year he is hitting .450 with 35 runs scored, 15 home runs and 42 runs batted in.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Team One South Showcase

Nic Wilson | Eastern Arizona College | 1B
Nic has made quite an impact in his first season at Eastern Arizona. He is hitting .344 with 12 doubles, two 3B, a home run and a team-leading 24 RBI.
Baseball Factory Events: 2009 Under Armour Baseball Factory Tryout, 2009 Baseball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament at Pirate City, 2010 Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament, 2010 Baseball Factory College Recruiting Program


High School Notes

The inaugural National High School Invitational was a huge success. Hosted by USA Baseball at their complex in Cary, NC along with their partner Baseball America, sixteen of the nation’s top high school programs competed in this outstanding event. The winner in dramatic fashion was Mater Dei out of California. Making key contributions to the Monarchs during their championship run were Baseball Factory veterans Jeremy Martinez, Ty Moore and Davis Tominaga. Martinez, who will become the first 2-time Under Armour All-American this summer, went 7-13 during the tournament driving in several key runs and leading the pitching staff. Ty Moore was 5-12 with a HR at the plate and went 2-0 on the mound including getting the win in relief in the Championship Game. Davis Tominaga also excelled two ways. On the mound, he threw a complete game in earning the win over Bishop Gorman from Nevada. At the plate he contributed three hits against Bishop Gorman and hit the game-tying HR in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Championship Game. Congratulations to these fine young players and the entire Mater Dei team.

Another standout at the NHSI was 2011 Under Armour All-American Matt Olson. Olson pitched the first game for Parkview HS going six strong innings against George Washington HS (NY) to earn the victory. He helped himself at the plate as well with a 1B and 3B. Later in the tournament, Olson showed why he is one of the top hitters in the 2012 class by turning around a fastball from top prospect Max Fried and hitting it deep over the right center field fence. Olson finished 5 for 10 during the event.

One last note, 2009 Under Armour All-American Lance McCullers, Jr. is off to an outstanding start this spring. McCullers has used his mid to upper 90s fastball and sharp slider to go 6-0 with 57 Ks in 30.1 innings for Tampa Jesuit and has yet to allow a run this season.



Steve Bernhardt is the Executive VP of Baseball Operations with Baseball Factory. Bernhardt played for five years in the Colorado Rockies organization. As Executive VP of Baseball Operations at Baseball Factory, he oversees all events and instruction. Bernhardt formerly served as an Associate Scout with the Colorado Rockies. He received his B.S. from the University of Richmond where he was an All-Conference player.