Welcome to Next Level Ballplayer!
Here’s the deal…
Next Level Ballplayer.com (NLB) is all about providing high quality baseball content to our serious players, parents, and coaches. My name is David Franco and I launched NLB in the spring of 2011. Since then, Next Level Ballplayer has grown into a nationally recognized baseball website that has been featured on ESPN Radio, Sports Illustrated.com, Fox News and other respected media outlets. Beyond that, I’ve spoken to several baseball programs all over the country and even the Dominican Republic.
Next Level Ballplayer is…
- A place for serious ballplayers who want to be the best baseball player they can be. All of my articles are focused on this theme.
- A place for baseball parents to become equipped for and informed about the college recruiting process and gain access to quality baseball tips to share with their sons.
- A place for coaches to find excellent baseball advice to share with players, and stay up-to-date on what MLB players and top coaches are doing to get better. (I know you are already saying a lot of these things to your players, but if you send them a link to Derek Holland quoting the same thing, it might sink in a bit more!!)
Most of the articles you’ll find at NLB are interviews I personally conduct with Major League Baseball players, prospects, and top college coaches giving advice to current ballplayers. I’m super passionate about helping you reach your baseball potential.
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Why Did I Start NLB?
When my college baseball career ended and no MLB teams called and asked for my services, I knew my playing days were over. Though my dream had always been to play in the Big Leagues, I eventually came to grips with that fact that I needed to “move on”. Baseball had been such a huge part of my life that “moving on” without it seemed inconceivable…
When I was ballplayer growing up, if I could have had anything, I would have wanted instruction and advice from Big League players and top college coaches. During my college career, I had the opportunity to play with over 25 ballplayers who were eventually drafted (3 went on to play in the Big Leagues) and be coached by some of the best. Between those connections and the other friendships I developed in college and professional baseball, I was in a place to make NLB a reality. I could be that resource I wished I had as an aspiring ballplayer.
David is a tremendous resource for the player who desires to play at the next level. His knowledge of the game stems from his personal experience as a Division 1 player and has grown through his relationships with college and professional players and coaches. If I was looking for advice or tips on anything from being a better player to the recruiting process, David Franco is the first guy I would contact”
– Jake Boss, Head Coach, Michigan State University
“How Do You Get All These Interviews?”
Sometimes it goes well… like entering two MLB locker rooms without media credentials**, running into Game Seven of the World Series without a ticket, “breaking into” fancy hotels to do interviews, watching a Dodgers game in a suite with their general manager, throwing BP to Ben Zobrist, and sharing a hotel room with the famous Steve Springer.
Sometimes not so well… like having to write a hand-written apology note to Kevin Youkilis, calling Brian Cashman “Theo” (totally by accident, but still brutal), road-tripping hundreds of miles without nailing that coveted interview, and not taking advantage of my chance to interview Joe Girardi.
… But it has still been a blast, and I’m in it for the long haul.
More About David Franco…
- Received D1 baseball Scholarship
- Played four years at Miami University and was a three-time RedHawk Award winner
- Spoke to numerous college and high school baseball teams from +10 states, 3 national baseball conventions, and multiple prospect camps
- Worked with top prospects of The Los Angeles Dodgers at their Dominican Academy on the mental side of baseball
- Interviewed as a featured guest on ESPN Radio (twice), 104.5 The Zone (#1 ranked Sports Radio Show in Country)
- Featured articles on SI.com, DeadSpin.com and more
- Spent a year in the baseball capital of the Dominican Republic
- Learned Spanish in accelerated Costa Rica Emersion Program
- Author of the College Baseball Recruiting Survival Guide
- Earned Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Visited over 15 different countries
- Won over a tremendously supportive woman to be his wife
Franco and family hanging out with Puig before a game
"I just wanted to thank you and give you an update on how our season went. First off, you had a huge impact on our success this season. We used Next Level Ballplayer.com frequently and used a lot of your mental approach to the game. It was a HUGE help. Thanks again for taking the time to come speak with our program.
As for our season, it was one that we won’t soon forget. We ended the season ranked #1 in Division II, ranked #19 in the USA Today, went 31-1 and won the Division II State Championship. It was a tremendous year and I really mean it when I say your help was a huge part of our success. Thanks again.”
"I like following Next Level Ballplayer because as a coach that's been around a while, it keeps me young. You have an old-school attitude with a new school approach. That's a great balance to have, because you're around a lot of knowledgeable baseball people, and you embrace learning."
-Rick Finley, Travel Ball Coach and owner of MD&I Baseball Academy