About the Author
I wasn’t a four year starter on the high school varsity baseball team. I was only on the varsity team for three years and very rarely played my sophomore season. I wasn’t a great athlete that played multiple sports. I was cut two years in a row from the high school basketball team…it was the J.V. team! I wasn’t even a good high school hitter until my senior year. The term “good” is also relative. I was so “good” that I didn’t receive a single athletic scholarship offer out of high school.
I was an above average student academically and walked on to the Gulf Coast Community College baseball team with an academic scholarship. It was there that I played under Darren Mazeroski, son of hall of fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski. It was also there that I started to learn the professional aspects of the game…how pro players carried themselves, handled there business, and what skills it takes to get drafted.
While at Gulf Coast I learned another key that allowed me to later put on a professional uniform…work ethic. As my work ethic grew stronger, my physical skills developed. By the end of my sophomore season I had earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Central Florida.
Upon my arrival at UCF I promptly sat the bench for over half of the games during the season of my junior year. However, it was during the fall of this same year that I had an eye opening experience. It was called “Scout Day.” At major universities scout day is where most, if not every, major league team sends a scout to recruit players for the their club. This is when I realized how players were graded. This is also when I forged the blue print for what would eventually get me drafted. I took what I learned that day and trained specifically for a year for the particular aspects that are graded. (All of these aspects will be described thoroughly throughout this guide.)
At the end of my senior season at UCF I was drafted by the Florida Marlins (known today as the Miami Marlins) in the 30th round. I went on to play five seasons with the Marlins in their minor league system.
My first professional season I was named team MVP by the local newspaper in Jamestown, New York. In 2005, while playing for the Jupiter Hammerheads, I was selected to the Florida State League all-star team.
Throughout those five seasons I had some of the most unbelievable experiences a baseball player that was short on talent could ask for. I was called up to several major league games in Spring training. One of which was a game against the Boston Red Sox on St. Patrick’s Day in Fort Myers. The Red Sox wore their green jerseys and packed the stadium with over 7,200 fans. It was standing room only! Papelbon was on the mound as a starter at that time and Manny Ramirez was hitting in the three hole.
Another Spring training call up had me pinch hitting in the eighth inning against the Mets in the second to last day of camp. This was no split squad either. Carlos Beltran was in center. David Wright was at third. Jose Reyes was at short and Carlos Delgado was at first. Not a bad day for a kid who walked on to the local community college baseball team.
I was released by the Marlins at the beginning of the 2008 season. I then went on to play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Independent) where I was selected to another all-star team. My playing career ended after that season.
I am not listing my awards and accolades to seem arrogant or to toot my own horn. I am simply portraying how much I was able to achieve on so little talent.
After my playing career ended I taught baseball lessons as the head instructor Nashville Baseball Academy in Tennessee for over five years. I also work for Old Hickory Bat Company in Sales. Other than being a big leaguer, you couldn’t ask for a better career. Professional baseball has opened so many doors in my life. I now strive to give aspiring young players the same opportunity that I had, regardless of their level of talent. With a relentless work ethic and the information in this book, I believe almost any player can have the same opportunities I had. I wouldn’t trade them for the world!