Jonathan sat down with his manager of the Normal Cornbelters to talk about all things independent ball, a different path to the Major Leagues, his company “Meet A Prospect” and more!
We sat down with Kagen Hopkins and talked about the Delivery Value System (DVS) and how it has impacted his performance as a pitcher.
Students of the Game took a trip to MLB Network Studios to interview former 12-year MLB veteran and three time All-Star Sean Casey! Check out what “The Mayor” has to say about his experiences in the majors, what it’s like to work at MLB Network, and what he thinks about the changing dynamic of baseball.
“The huge portions of how I got better was brute force, trying a bunch of different things and seeing what worked. With straightforward and brutal goals in mind, I wanted to get stronger and throw harder, and that was it.”
Tom Hackimer is a pitching prospect in the Twins organization. The side-arm reliever has taken an unconventional path to professional baseball as a former walk-on at St. Johns who was a shortstop. Tom spoke to SOTG about his work with Driveline, the role of technology and data in player development, and setting brutal goals and how to go about chasing them.
Former Cressey Sports Performance Intern and current RVA Athletes strength and movement coach Andrew Lysy sat down with Jonathan de Marte to discuss all things training in baseball. Andrew covered a wide range of topics from working under the great Eric Cressey, some of his beliefs, the importance of a movement based training program and much more.
“After you have a good outing or feel good one day, go back and write down what you felt and the results of the outing. That way, if you have a bad outing or day, you can go back and look at what you wrote when you had a good day and see what you did. When you read that, you start to visualize it slowly, and you are back where you need to be.”
Dillon Maples is the 13th ranked prospect in the Cubs’ system according to MLB.com. The hard-throwing reliever possesses a nasty repertoire of pitches, but this is far from the most interesting thing about Maples’ quest to the big leagues. Dillon spoke with us about his roller-coaster journey that has led to him breaking through to the MLB and how important being confident in himself was in getting him to the highest level of baseball.
“I think what comes about from weighted balls is improved arm action. For a lot of guys, that means shortened arm action and more efficient, which I think leads to the velocity gains that some of these guys get from the program (Driveline).”
Walker Buehler, the 12th prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, discussed his experience with the Driveline program, his experience at Vanderbilt, coming back from TJ and much more with us! Walker gave SOTG insight into how a first round pick stays humble and hungry to take his game to the next level.
“Ever since I was young, I have been the most competitive person in the room.”
We had the chance to speak with the Blue Jays’ number 8 prospect, according to MLB.com, who had a breakout campaign in 2017 as he dominated from High-A to Triple-A. Read on how Borucki uses his competitive edge, strong knowledge of how his own pitch arsenal can exploit hitters weakness, and understanding how to utilize your stuff to the best of your ability.
“I got Ted Williams’ The Science of Hitting, and it was not like I was mind blown, it was like this makes sense. It was not rocket science, just swing on a level or uphill plane, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Zack Short is MLB.com’s 23rd ranked prospect in the Cubs organization. As a shortstop from the Northeast, Zack spoke about the importance of hard work, the flyball revolution, his thoughts on hitting and more.
“I want to help kids who do not have a local guru to go to feel like they have access to information and can find what they need to get better.”
Chad Longworth, founder, and owner of Longworth Baseball runs a data-driven player development facility in Virginia. Chad spoke to us about numbers guiding development, how he became the coach he is today and his implementation of Ido Portal’s movement culture in his coaching.
“That’s where Robert came in. We worked together for a few days. The first thing we worked on was creating a better bat path. That was getting my bat in the zone earlier, and a focus on lifting the ball. That entire week we worked together, all I was trying to do was hit deep fly balls to center field. I think that mindset got my bat in the zone earlier and got me on plane better.”
Dodgers’ star Chris Taylor spoke extensively with SOTG about his swing changes that were the catalyst for his breakout performance in 2017, his approach, and about his incredible versatility in the field.
“I think confidence comes from working hard and trusting your training and knowing that you have put in the time rather than the ego side of confidence that you are better than everyone else.”
Pete spoke with SOTG about his experience and some of the most significant takeaways from training at Driveline, what investing in yourself means to him, and explained and broke down pitch design with Rapsodo and how he utilizes it.
“Being a well-rounded hitter who can accomplish a variety of hitting tasks is incredibly important, with the ability to lift the baseball with some exit velocity being the most important.”
Dustin spoke with SOTG about a number of things, including the incredible hitting Google Drive he has put together, the flyball revolution, some simple training methods any player can incorporate into their routine and more.
“That goes into what I learned at Michigan, the kind of hitter I am my job is to score runs. I look for that one pitch I can do damage with, and if I don’t get it, I won’t swing.”
Drew is the 30th ranked prospect according to MLB.com in the Braves’ farm system. Drew shared his thoughts on hitting, his development at the University of Michigan, and Minor League Baseball.