As you know, a lot goes into being a top defender at the higher levels of baseball. What it really boils down to is consistency. Not just being able to make the play, but being able to do it on a daily basis.
More importantly, not just being able to make the tough plays, but the routine ones as well. It’s the attention to detail that separates a great defender which is why I’m super excited in today’s big league interview with Reds short-stop Zack Cozart.
He’s going to share with us the importance of knowing the situation, tendencies, strengths and weaknesses of those you’re playing with and against.
You might know Coach Roberts as long time UNC Head Baseball Coach, or one of the winningest coaches in the prestigious Cape Cod League (Just led the Cotuit Kettleers to the 2013 Cape Cod Championship), or the father of Orioles All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts.
Coach Roberts has an impressive a baseball resume, but happens to be a great person as well. His passion for the game of baseball is evident the second you begin speaking with him, and if that conversation continues…
You will no doubt talk about base running.
Anyone who has played for Coach Roberts or spent time around him knows about his unique, but very effective base running technique.
A great example is his response to my question, “What part of the pitcher do you teach your base runners to look at when trying to get a good jump on stealing second base?”
His answer, “We (My players) don’t look for any particular thing on a pitcher because I teach anticipation.”
Coach Roberts’ base stealing techniques are starting to be adopted by a lot of top college baseball programs and those programs are having incredible base stealing results.
Special thanks to Coach Roberts for spending some time with us and sharing some of his best base-stealing tips and tricks in the video below.
When thrown well, the curveball has the opportunity to be one of the nastiest pitches in baseball.
I can’t think of anything nastier than a pitcher buckling the knees of a hitter with a sick curve.
The lure of the curveball and the enjoyment of making hitters look silly also make arm injuries more prevalent in younger pitchers these days.
When talking to some of the top baseball doctors and pitching coaches, I hear two main reasons for arm injuries in young pitchers. 1. Bad Mechanics and 2. Starting to throw too many breaking balls at too young an age.
We’ll address the right age to start throwing curveballs in a later post, but today we’re focusing on the right mechanics for throwing a curveball… the mechanics that will produce a nasty pitch without added stress on your elbow and shoulder.
Up until this 2013 season, Josh Beckett has started over 20 games each of the last 11 seasons. He’s a three time All-Star, has a 20 win season under his belt, two World Series titles, and one World Series MVP Award.
A large part of his success has come from his nasty curveball that has complemented his 90+ MPH fastball. When Josh was growing up in Spring, TX he was taken under the wing of local pitching coach, Shelby Thomas.
Shelby was the one who taught Josh the same curveball that he’s used his entire MLB career. I had the privilege of meeting Shelby when I was brought out to speak to the HS baseball program that he coaches with today, the North Side Falcons.
It didn’t take long for me to know that I had to get him on video to share with you guys.
After watching Shelby demonstrate the proper mechanics of a nasty, but safe, curveball in the video below; go back and look at the picture of Beckett at the top of this post. You can see Josh, throwing a curveball without the use of the pointer finger like Shelby suggests for pitchers with smaller hands.
Many thanks to Shelby for taking the time to hangout with us and share his tips on throwing a Big League caliber curveball (safely).
If you have played or coached baseball at any level, you have no doubt experienced many days of tryouts.
Usually these tryouts bring about a lot of questions from both the coaches and players.
Coaches- What should I be looking for? How do I evaluate players at each position? ext.
Players usually just assume the coaches know what they’re doing and ask the same question over and over- What is are the coaches looking for?
Regardless if you are a coach or player, today’s interview article digs right into the core question of “How to evaluate talent at the high school and summer ball levels and beyond?”
Our expert today is longtime scout for the Tigers and now Indians, John Mirabelli. John is currently the Indians’ Senior Director of Scouting Operations and was formerly their Assistant General Manager for 9 seasons.
All that fancy language just means that he has been evaluating baseball players for a long time and we’re lucky to have him swing by NLB and share his expertise.
If you’re a player who’s currently preparing for the upcoming baseball season and training this fall, make sure you take notes on this video. James Ramsey has played with some of the best college players and has given a fantastic perspective of what it means to play ball at the next level.
James was the Golden Spikes Award Winner (Heisman Trophy for Baseball) at Florida State and a 1st Round Draft pick by the Cardinals in 2012.
In this interview, James talks about ways you can leverage your career to leave a lasting legacy that extends beyond the field as well as tips to stand out on the field.
I had a blast hanging out with James and was blown away by his humbleness and big picture perspective on life and baseball.
Many thanks to James Ramsey for stopping by to share some insight on his # 1 work ethic tip, how to experience positional changes without letting it effect your offensive game, how to develop your skills by being active off the field and more.