Summer 2015 From the Bleachers

“I am a native of Arizona and a huge fan of the Sun Devils. Just wanted to say that Tracy Smith did a great job with our guys in year one and I’m excited to see him continue to build up our program in the future!”
-Pamela Pointer

Our interview with Tracy Smith is online at http://wp.me/p2qsGw-bS

“I am a college baseball enthusiast and I don’t like the new hit by pitch rule. To be honest, I didn’t even notice that much had changed watching games this season. To me, it should simply be a question of whether “the ball hit the batter” or “the batter hit the ball.” Leave it up to the umpires!”
-Joe Jones

Check out “New Approved Hit by Pitch Rule Could Change Approaches” online at http://wp.me/p2qsGw-bB<!–more–>

“Loved the article on speeding up the game. I think that baseball should be aware of the changes in our ‘need it now’ society and I like the subtle changes that college baseball has made, with the pitch clock and in-between innings time limits. I’m not as big a fan of the MLB’s replay system; it’s not guaranteed to get every call right and I think the process just adds “standing around” time that the game doesn’t need!”
-David Smithwick

Here’s “The Need for Speed in Baseball” http://insidepitchonline.com/2015/05/28/the-need-for-speed-in-baseball/

“I think that we’ve seen the height of the defensive shifts era. I know that we have more stats and data in the game than ever before, but there’s a reason why the standard positioning has been around for more than 200 years, with defenders set up equidistant from one another throughout the field. Keep it simple guys!”
-Beau Peterson

“The Shift is On” is available online at http://wp.me/p2qsGw-bG

“I don’t think that it’s reasonable to change the timing of the season in college baseball. The reality is that it would be way too expensive to pay for housing and meals once the school year has ended. For most programs it would be an insurmountable expense.”
-Todd Williams

“Change Up The Season” is online at http://wp.me/p2qsGw-bE

The ‘uni’

Each November I pull my baseball uniform out of the closet, pack it in a suitcase and then proceed on a journey that will take me to multiple baseball fields in the Dominican Republic. It’s a different feeling wearing the “uni” down there. Since I was eight years old, when I would wear the uniform, it would be for competition as a player or coach. I loved it. Now, the uniform is used to let young Dominican players know that we have a common bond: we all love the game.

article by Publisher Keith Madison

article by Publisher Keith Madison

Along with dozens of other American coaches, we attempt to share some knowledge that will help these talented young athletes become better “beisbol” players. The uniform, along with some knowledge and experience, gives the coaches from the “States” some credibility.

I think a lot about wearing a uniform. It’s been a privilege to wear it for over 55 years. Football coaches, basketball coaches and soccer coaches don’t get to wear uniforms. Some of them even feel compelled to wear a suit and tie instead! (Don’t you think it would be awesome to see John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino wear basketball uniforms while coaching their teams? LOL). Continue reading

The deconditioning of the arm

Dan Haren (AP image)

Dan Haren (AP image)

There are a myriad of programs, tools, methods, theories and opinions that attempt to address the rising number of arm injuries in baseball. Countless dollars and research hours have been spent by the medical community and countless time, energy and discussion has been made by the baseball community to quell this epidemic.

Alan Jaeger

Alan Jaeger

For Alan Jaeger, the solution is relatively simple- any high school, college or professional organization that puts heavy limits and restrictions on arms that are, comparatively, being so well trained and conditioned in this day and age are simply deconditioning arms. The current culture (in college baseball especially) places an emphasis on throwing more, rather than less, so pitchers are well protected in general. But when a well conditioned player comes up against a throwing program that places major limits on them (distance, time, workload), arms become very vulnerable to deconditioning.

This is prevalent at all levels but ironically at the “highest” level of baseball (the major leagues), a number of organizations are actually the most conservative. Whether it’s due to the amount of money players are paid, the change in philosophy from a pitcher being on their own or suddenly becoming part of an organization-wide structure or policy, pitchers going into professional baseball can be restricted the most. Through research and experience, about a third of MLB organizations mandate a throwing program that places restrictions on time allotted for throwing (i.e. 10-12 minutes) and distance (i.e. 120-150 feet) — in some cases, it can be very extreme (about a third are considered very liberal and individualized, and the other third are somewhere in the middle).
Continue reading

Summer 2015 is OFFICIALLY here!

summer15

Our Summer 2015 issue hit the shelves in Omaha and has been flying off them ever since! As always, IP features some of baseball’s best and brightest, and this issue is no different; we actually had to make extra room for content!

Download the app or subscribe to check out our latest, featuring:

  • Dan Heefner
  • Hensley Meulens
  • Roger Bidwell
  • Willie Mays Aikens
  • B1G baseball
  • Alan Jaeger
  • Ken Griffey Jr.
  • Chris Burke
  • New England Collegiate Baseball League and the Futures
    Collegiate Baseball League of New England
  • @CoachYourKids
  • Brian Doyle

and much more!

Spring 2015 recap

Spring 15 cover

  • Coach Madison got some great feedback on verses from the Bible that help players and coaches maintain a healthy outlook during the season
  • 9 Questions with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps head coach Morgan Cummins
  • @CoachYourKids as if you were speaking a different language 
  • Congrats to past guests (and current readers) on Omaha!
  • Chris Burke breaks down Albert Pujols and D.J. Stewart in our latest Frame-by-Frame
  • What’s your favorite…
  • Catching up with the newest Sun Devil, Tracy Smith
  • The need for speed in baseball
  • Spring 2015 From the Bleachers
  • Check out this video on Keith Madison’s motivation to coach
  • The shift is on in college baseball
  • Should we “change up” the season in college baseball?
  • Justin Brown examines college baseball’s new HBP rule
  • Publisher Keith Madison writes how good it can be to get ‘Back to basics’
  • Early spring saw several ‘Fields of *frozen* dreams’ this year
  • Chris Burke breaks down what he looks for when projecting players in ‘Will he make it?’
  •  

    Will He Make It? How I project college players

    article by Chris Burke former 1st round pick and MLB player; current ESPN analyst

    article by Chris Burke
    former 1st round pick and MLB player; current ESPN analyst

    One of the best parts about my job as an ESPN college baseball analyst is that I get to travel around and see the next generation of the game’s great players. As a baseball NERD this is quite fun, especially the task of forecasting how a certain player’s skills will translate to the next level. The question comes up often, and while nobody is ever 100 percent sure about a prospect, there are some characteristics that I like to focus on to make my evaluation.

    Now, I am by no means an expert in this space, and my experience is very much in the development stage as it pertains to projection, but these are the qualities I look for when measuring a college player’s chances at having a solid pro career.

    This issue I will focus on position players (non-pitchers) and in an upcoming issue I will get into pitchers, both starters and relievers.

    Projecting Position Players

    1) Position profile: There are so many good college players that don’t ever make it to the big leagues, and a big part of that is being what some people call a “tweener,” meaning they’re not quite offensive enough to play their best defensive position, and not quite athletic enough to play a position where their bat would be sufficient.

    For instance, a really good college third baseman may get to Double A because of their advanced approach and solid defense, but doesn’t produce enough runs to hit in the middle of the order and can’t run well enough to hit at the top of the order, or play defense in the middle of the field (CF, SS, 2B).

    To be a top flight prospect, it really helps to have a clearly defined position.

    2) Continue reading