Posts Tagged “Baseball”

Frankie Sanchez 1. Share your recruiting story and status (ex. what was the process like? when did you commit/sign?)

My recruiter was head coach Alex Smith. The process was long because he did not have my film and therefore was not able to make a proper evaluation of me. Once my film was submitted to the coach he became much more interested because I showed that I was committed. I wanted to show them that I was not only interested in their baseball program but in their education program as well. Once they had seen one of my games the coach had asked me if I would like to play for Luther and so I signed on April 14, 2012.

2. What school are you going to, and why did you choose them?

I am attending Luther College in Iowa. I chose Luther because I knew that this school has what it takes to provide me with a successful future academically and athletically.

3. How did SportsForce help in the process?

SportsForce provides you with the means necessary to find coaches and schools of interests, while also providing the coaches with information about yourself.

4. What advice would you give to other players and parents with the recruiting process (ex. start early, get a highlight video)?

Advice that I would give to others is to start playing ball at an early age and to have as much fun with the game as possible. While playing always make highlight videos of yourself to show off your skills and the progress that you make.

5. How excited are you on your future in college?

I am very excited to go to a school that will provide me with a great education as well as be playing the game that I have always loved since I was a child.

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ACDC may be back in black, but the Los Angeles Dodgers are back in blue!

The Dodgers have been on fire since the beginning of the season. Their record currently stands at 13-4 and they are tied with the Texas Rangers for the best record in the Majors. But of course, the number one question on everyone’s mind is how the Dodgers will finish the end of the 2012 season. Will they make it to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2009? Can Matt Kemp grab his first NL MVP trophy this season, after narrowly losing out to Ryan Braun last year?

One thing is apparent though; the Dodgers are starting off the year with a vibrant energy that can be felt echoing through the rafters of Chavez Ravine by not only the fans…but EVEN the opponents as well. New owners mean a fresh start with young athletes that are trying to take the Dodgers back to Red October, but can they actually get there?

Last year Dodgers CF Matt Kemp almost made it into the 40/40 club as only the 5th player to ever reach this prestigious mark, falling just 1 home run short. This hasn’t deterred Kemp in the slightest. During the offseason he has been working 10x harder and has come back in full “beastmode” to start the year. Heck, forget the 40/40 club, Kemp says he’s shooting for the 50/50 club (which to date has exactly ZERO members).

But one man doesn’t make a team and Kemp wouldn’t be doing so well if we failed to mention Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon. With his help he’s making it easier not only for Kemp to drive in runs but also batting partner Andre Ethier as well. Dee Gordon should also be praised for his speed on the base paths, which has allowed Kemp and Ethier to drive in runs at an exceptionally rapid rate (both have 22 RBI’s so far on the season).

With reigning Cy Young award winner, Clayton Kershaw leading a dominant pitching staff, The Dodgers expect the rest of the team to join Kemp and Ethier in going full “beastmode” and reaching the playoffs for the first time in 3 years. How far they’ll go in the playoffs is yet to be determined, but one thing is certain, Dodger Blue is back!

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(The St.Louis Cardinals won the 2011 World Series)

Do you see something wrong with the picture above? Big guy, had one of the best 11 year starts to an MLB career EVER. No? Well, apparently neither do the Cardinals as they are rolling along just fine without Albert Pujols.

I could tell you that the Cardinals will make the playoffs this year and that the Angels will miss the playoffs this year and you could call me crazy. This offseason, it seemed as if the Cardinals were doomed when they lost out on Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa announced his retirement after winning the 2011 World Series. Pujols jumped ship with the Los Angeles Angels and they instantly became an American League powerhouse. The Cardinals, meanwhile, brought in new manager, and former catcher, Mike Matheny and also signed some guy named Carlos Beltran. While Beltran is no Pujols, the guy is no slouch either. He’s more than capable of putting up big numbers for the Cards, who look poised to defend their title without Fat Albert’s services.

Does the name David Freese ring a bell? This kid only put the team on his back to help the Cards slip into the playoffs and eventually win the World Series last year. He only broke the postseason RBI record, with 21, 5 HRs, and hit .397 in the playoffs last year. In fact, it was Freese that won the World Series and NLCS MVP, not Pujols. The fact is, St. Louis was prepared to lose Pujols last year and they are proving it this year with a batting lineup featuring Freese, Matt Holliday (remember him?), Lance Berkman (NL Comeback Player of the Year), Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, and Rafael Furcal. Factor that in with a rotation featuring a healthy Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and young lefty Jaime Lopez, you have yourself a team set for another playoff run. With a punchless, princeless Brewers team, who else is there to contend with them? I like their chances at the playoffs this year as they are 7-3 and leading the league in runs, batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage so far.

Out west Pujols and his new crew are going to have to get by the back-to-back American League Champion Texas Rangers to get into the playoffs. If not by division, they will have to beat out one of those tough AL East teams (there are four of them now) to get one of the two Wild Card spots. So yeah, go ahead and call me crazy. Pujols out, Cards in. Yes, we are talking playoffs Jim Mora

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The weather is getting warmer, and the smells of summer are lingering in the air…that can only mean one thing: the 2012 MLB season is almost here! This season is sure to bring tons of excitement, especially with some new elements that will re-shape the landscape of MLB. Here are some of the new and refreshing factors roaring to a baseball diamond near you:

New faces in new places: Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder have definitely changed the way we look at a baseball franchise. It’s all about money, money, money! With both players signing contracts worth over $200 million each, the question is, who will have the bigger impact on their new team? I think Pujols is expected to make a bigger impact with the Angels, and you know what? That’s exactly what we’ll see. I think Pujols is going to give the Angels a serious lift; he has a presence about him and he’s ready to play his best baseball we’ve seen yet. Also, with Fielder’s arrival in Detroit, one thing is certain: both the Cardinals and the Brewers are going to be worse off without their two sluggers anchoring their respective teams this season.

October – The wildest month of the season: Now with FOUR wild-card teams in the mix, predicting what’s to come in September/October will never be the same. For one, teams won’t be able to just cruise through September, content to be a wild card. This new rule makes finishing first seem oh-so refreshing. Also, this won’t help teams who are trying to fix what may be afflicting them at the trade deadline. The most vital part of this new wild-card rule: it is more imperative than ever to win your division this season; simply winning the Wild Card just isn’t good enough anymore.

It’s a “Magical” time in L.A.: Can Magic Johnson run a baseball team? For a cool $2 billion, a group led by Magic Johnson and former Braves/Nationals president Stan Kasten is about to become the proud owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I think most people in Southern California will be happy that Frank McCourt is gone. So what does this mean in the short run? Not much, but this will probably mean more in the long run, and we can expect to see money in the baseball budget again. Watch out for the Dodgers to have their eye back in Latin America and scouting for international talent. The Dodgers ranked last in international signings last year, at only $177,000. Expect that to change in the coming years. Also, expect Dodger Stadium to get a huge makeover, since it plummeted to shameful depths under McCourt.

Finally! Expect more than 300 people to attend a Marlins game! No more nightly rain delays, folks. Get ready for Marlins Park; this is a modern, trendy, and tropical ballpark unlike any other; it will even feature a retractable roof — every Floridian’s dream! So what will the new ballpark bring to the Marlins and their fan base? For one, the Marlins think they can average 30,000 fans per game — this would be 11,000 more than it averaged officially last year. The Marlins believe they won’t just sell out on Opening Night, but sell all 36,000 seats multiple times before the end of April. Last year, they sold out ZERO games after the opener. However, whether the roof is open or closed, the success of the Marlins will not be judged on the quality of their brand new stadium, but on the quality of the 2012 team.

So with all these changes. It’s tough to predict exactly what’s going to happen on the baseball diamond this season. But one thing is certain, the 2012 MLB season is going to be a season like no other, and I can’t wait for it to get started!

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Although the Red Sox missed the playoffs in 2011, there are plenty of reasons for Sox fans to remain positive for 2012. One reason is the production they got out of their young centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury had a 2011 campaign worthy of an MVP Award. Although de didn’t win the award, he instead was rewarded the AL Comeback Player of the Year. So looking forward to 2012 we ask ourselves, “Who’s next on deck?”

Unlike our NL Comeback Player of the Year candidates for 2012, there are not many big name AL players coming back from injuries. Three players to keep an eye on this season are Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, Colby Rasmus of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. While Morneau is a player coming back from an inury, Rasmus and Rodriguez both had down years in 2011 but will come back big in 2012.

Justin Morneau

After winning the 2006 AL MVP Award, the city of Minnesota had high hopes for rising star Justin Morneau. He had very productive seasons after winning the MVP and nearly won the award again in 2008. In 2010 and 2011 Morneau suffered a some big injuries and had concussion problems as well as surgery in both his neck and left wrist. In 2010 he was putting up first-half numbers that could have made him MVP again. He hit .345 with 18 HRs and 56 RBIs, but he was stopped short by injury. He came back in 2011 but failed to recover completely as his numbers weren’t up to his standards.

Now in 2012, Morneau claims that he is feeling much better and isn’t having any problems with his wrist or neck. He has participated in all practices during Spring Training and is preparing to return to MVP form once the season starts. While concussions always put an asterisk on a player’s health, Morneau could be a high-risk player to bet on. But I say put your money on him to come back strong with a full season for the Twins. If he starts hitting the lights out again, it could help ignite teammate Joe Mauer to also have a strong season and bring the Twins back to the playoffs.

Colby Rasmus

Power hitting centerfielders are not easy to come by in the Majors. Colby Rasmus is a player with a ton of potential to be one of the better centerfielders in the Majors. As a member of the Cardinals in 2010, Rasmus hit .276 with 23 homeruns. However, problems with manager Tony LaRussa forced the Cardinals to trade the unhappy centerfielder to Toronto in 2011. Toronto was a step back in Rasmus’ career as he hit .225 and struck out 116 times. He hit a measly .117 as a member of the Jays in 35 games before he suffered a wrist injury. Some claim that he needs to improve his hitting when thrown breaking pitches as he has hit only .211 in his career against breaking balls.

However, there are plenty of things in Rasmus’ favor as he goes forward into the 2012 season. First, he is only 25 years old and could make major adjustments heading into his fourth season in the Majors. The Blue Jays hitting coach is happy with the adjustments that Colby made over the offseason. Second, he will be playing a full season hitting behind players like Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie. Also, he will be playing a full, and healthy season at the Rogers Centre, a place known as a hitter-friendly park, and should see his homerun numbers increase and hover around 20-30 this season. Rasmus does not have the speed like Jacoby Ellsbury but has a very good bat that could help him win the 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Alex Rodriguez

There are few players in the Majors right now that have a shot at breaking Barry Bonds’ all-time homerun record. Alex Rodriguez, along with Albert Pujols, are probably the only two who have a legitimate chance at breaking it. Only twice in the past 16 years has A-Rod ever hit fewer than 30 homeruns and 100 RBIs in a season. Both times he failed to play more than 100 games. Last year he struggled with leg injuries, and he was only healthy enough to play 99 games hitting .276 with 16 homeruns and 62 RBIs. As he gets older, Rodriguez’s batting average has been going down recently as he no longer posseses the speed to beat out the short-grounders that he once did.

To help get healthier, A-Rod took a page out of Kobe Bryant’s book. How? Well, Kobe recommended that the 26 year-old Rodriguez have the same treatment that Bryant got in Germany. So, A-Rod went to Germany to get a blood spinning treatment, called Orthokine, and said he could see his game improve as a result of his legs being much healthier. The procedure worked for Kobe, who is averaging over 28 points per game. (A stat he hasn’t achieved since his ’07-’08 campaign). Other than signing Raul Ibañez, the Yankees didn’t do much to improve their offense this offseason, but a healthy A-Rod coming back to MVP form could be more valuable to New York than any free agent in the market this offseason.


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Doug Hix of Youth Fitness Magazine shares some tips for what some think is very easy, but requires skill and attention to detail.

Throwing a baseball appears to be very simple in its nature. Just throw, right? Wrong. Throwing a baseball the right way takes proper mechanics and techniques. Just ask Bud Black. Black, a former Major League Baseball pitcher who recorded 121 wins over his 15-year career, knows a thing or two about the art of throwing a baseball. These days, Black puts his vast knowledge of the game to use as the Manager of the San Diego Padres. During the off-season, we caught up with Black for a few tips on the subject. Below, Black cites the three critical aspects of throwing a baseball.

1.Separating Hands
When you catch a baseball, the first thing to do is remove the ball from the glove, which is called separating the ball from the glove. “Start with your hands on top of the ball or your fingers on top with your thumb underneath, same with your glove arm, thumbs down,” Black says. “So you catch the ball, you separate your hands with thumbs down, fingers on top of the ball and start to make a circle.”

2. Elbow Up
According to Black, the second point of focus is ensuring that one’s elbow is above the shoulder when a throw is made. “A lot of kids who have arm trouble as they move on through baseball do so as a result of not having enough strength during childhood to get their elbow above the shoulder or it’s simply easier to not do so,” Black says. “Throwing the baseball from a low position is simply easier. It takes more work and effort to get the elbow up.”

In this instance, the involvement of a parent or coach to encourage proper mechanics can help lead to future success. “I can watch a kid 5, 6, 7, 8 years old and if they have proper separation mechanics and can get the elbow up, I say, hey they got a chance,” Black says. “If they are athletic, they have a chance to be successful at whatever level they’re competing.”

3. Stride Direction
The third critical aspect of throwing a baseball is proper stride direction. “These days, you see some young shortstops stepping towards the pitching mound and making a throw to first base across the body,” Black says. “There needs to be a stride toward where you’re throwing the ball. Stride to the person you’re playing catch with or stride toward the direction where you want the ball to be thrown.”

Black believes stride direction is an aspect that is easier to fix when kids become older, unlike the first two components. “It is critical to key in on the first two components early in a baseball player’s career,” he says. “Essentially, all three components are critical in my eyes. That is it, you can talk or instruct for hours on those three things. If you get a kid early enough you’re fine. If you have a little bit of athleticism and aptitude, then you got action.”

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Over the past few months, SportsForce has been conducting free seminars to help educate athletes and their families on the road ahead and what to expect. SportsForce team members cover a variety of subjects at every seminar , but also share one constant message: it is never too late to work towards that roster spot. Team members highlight an entire time line of preparing for college sports, but are sure to remind young athletes never to get discouraged. Never give up at the high school level, the college level and beyond. Persistence pays, and there has been no greater recent example than Daniel Nava. As a Boston-girl myself, I was instantly aware of Nava’s great start for the Red Sox. If you didn’t get a chance to read the headlines, Nava became the fourth player in history to hit a grand slam in his first at bat in the majors, and just the second player to do so on the first pitch he saw.

At first wind of this story, you may think that Nava is a golden child of baseball who has been barreling towards the majors since high school. Not so. Nava is a great example of pursuing your dreams until you get there, and never letting “no’s” get the best of you. Fox Sports shared some of Nava’s story:

Nava, 27, was 4 feet 8 and 70 pounds when he entered high school, took growth hormone — prescribed by a doctor, not some major-league enabler — but didn’t have a growth spurt until his sophomore year in college.

He was cut by Santa Clara his freshman year and ended up team manager, washing uniforms. He then left the school because his family couldn’t afford the tuition, played two years at junior college, only to return to Santa Clara — on scholarship — for his senior year.

No major-league team drafted him. The Chico Outlaws of the Independent Golden League cut him. Nava took a year off, thinking — again — that his career might be over. But the Outlaws gave him another shot.

Then, in fall 2007, the Red Sox signed Nava, paying the Outlaws the princely sum of $1 — yes, $1 — for his rights, with an additional $1,499 to follow if he made a minor-league team out of spring training.

Now here was Nava less than three years later, replacing Josh Reddick on the major-league roster and filling in for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida, playing left field at Fenway on the same ground once treaded by Red Sox greats Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice and Manny Ramirez.

Good thing they got there when they did — Daniel hit his grand slam off Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton with none out in the bottom of the second inning, and later added a lead-off double off reliever Chad Durbin in the fifth.

At 27, Nava’s debut is no miracle, but the result of hard work and persistence; the kind of hard work that can earn a college roster spot and beyond. To read the full Fox Sports article visit:

For video of the grand slam visit:

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Many of the top players and teams in the baseball-rich state of California gathered at San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium last Saturday for the San Diego Section High School Baseball Championships. Four teams were able to walk away from the day with the title “San Diego Section Champions.” Major-league scouts, college coaches, recruiters, and media members were littered throughout the stands, as some of the best high school talent in the country showcased themselves in America’s Finest City.

Division IV: Coronado 7 Madison 6

The seventh seeded Islanders finished off their miracle run to the championship in stunning fashion, rallying from a five-run deficit to beat the heavily favored Warhawks. Coronado sophomore pitcher Jake Meloche overcame his team’s early defensive miscues and pitched a complete game while being charged for only two earned runs. Seven of the eight hits he allowed were singles, and the underclassman lefty showed incredible poise while holding Madison to only one run in the final six innings, allowing his team to come back. At the plate, the Islanders were paced by senior right fielder Zack Wheeler, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.

Division III: El Capitan 4 Cathedral Catholic 2

As, expected, the DIII Championship was dominated by a left-handed starter. But it wasn’t the left-handed started everyone thought it would be. Cathedral Catholic junior Daniel Camarena, who is expected to be selected for the Aflac All-America game, was solid, holding the Vaqueros scoreless on four hits through the first five innings. But in the fifth inning, it was evident that Camarena was wearing down and balls were being hit hard, and in the sixth inning those hard hit balls found some holes. El Capitan junior Josh Tulledge capped the four run sixth inning rally with a 2-run single that put the Vaqueros up for good.

As good as Camarena was through the first five innings, showcasing a nasty curveball and great athleticism while fielding his position, his lefty counterpart Troy Conyers was even better, going 5 1/3 innings while allowing only four hits and two runs. He allowed only one extra-base hit, a triple by Camarena in the sixth.

San Diego State commit, El Capitan shortstop Tyrone Wiggins went 1-for-4, but was robbed of a base hit twice and showed good range at short. El Capitan sophomore catcher Chuck Moormon went 2-for-3 with a powerful double and had great receiving and blocking skills behind the plate. For Cathedral, Oklahoma State-bound left fielder Casey Munoz had a rough day, going 0-for-2 and misplaying multiple balls in left field.

Division II Championship: Grossmont 8 Helix 0

This was the Joe Musgrove show, plain and simple. The junior right-hander simply overpowered Helix, pitching 2-hit shutout and needing only 68 pitches to finish off the Highlanders. The 6-foot-4 Musgrove showcased a low-90’s fastball and killer curveball along with pinpoint control and impressive mound presence. He finished with six K’s and walked three.

The Foothillers jumped on top early, scoring seven runs and sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, giving Musgrove all the lead he would need, and then some. For good measure, Musgrove also had the hardest hit ball of the day, a line drive that thundered off the left-field wall.

Grossmont shortstop Evan Potter, a San Diego State commit, went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored. Senior left fielder Steven Brault was the offensive star of the day, going 3-for-4, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and two RBI.

Division I: Rancho Bernardo 9 Poway 5

The day’s premier event, featuring two of the most prominent and historic high school baseball programs in the nation, did not disappoint, as probable draftees and college commits galore put on quite a show for the sold out crowd. The long-time rivals each got on the board in the first inning, RB getting one in the top half on a Brandon Berry RBI double and Poway touching up Arizona State commit Trevor Williams for three runs courtesy of back-to-back-to-back doubles and a single by the first four batters. But Williams showed why he is one of the top prospects in the nation, setting down 14 of the next 17 Poway hitters he faced after those first four batters. He also was mostly a two-pitch pitcher, using a low-90’s fastball and a power curve with good break to thwart Poway for the remainder of the game. Williams, who is expected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft, went the distance, allowing five runs on ten hits while striking out five and walking none. He allowed six hits and two runs over his final six innings. Leading the way at-bat for RB was Berry, who hit the only home run in the four games today, with a 370-foot blast to left-center along with a double.

Poway’s Evan Thomas lacked the mound presence of his counterpart Williams, visibly showing his frustration and struggling mightily with his control. He would finish with four earned runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work, and threw at least two balls to almost every batter faced.

The teams entered the seventh inning with RB up 5-3, but the Broncos rocked Titans reliever Keegan Yuhl for four runs in the top half of the inning, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by center fielder Anthony Vanroy.

Poway tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs off Williams, but in the end it was too little too late for the Titans, as RB wrapped up its fifth section crown since 1999.

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Sport: Baseball Positions: Shortstop Height: 5’10” Class: 2011 School: El Capitan Lakeside, CA

While only a junior, Tyrone Wiggins played a huge role in propelling his El Capitan Vaqueros to a 29-8 win over Mission Bay High School in the San Diego Section Division III Playoffs. Wiggins had three homeruns against Mission Bay, two of which were grand slams added to his already impressive 9 RBIs in the game. Wiggins also had a double and a three run homer as the Vaqueros defeated University City to take them to the division title game.
To view Tyrone’s complete SportsForce profile click here –

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services –

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Sport: Baseball Positions: LHP Height: 5’10″ Class: 2010 School: Torrey Pines High School San Diego, CA

Left-handed pitcher, Joey DeNato threw a no-hitter against Fallbrook as part of Torrey Pines three game sweep of the Warriors. DeNato allowed just one walk and struck out 14 batters during the game. It was the second straight shutout for the senior as his record improved to 7-1 for the season. DeNato is also tied for the CIF San Diego Section home run lead this season. He is committed to Indiana.
To view Joey’s complete SportsForce profile click here –

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services –

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