Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cape Cod: All Signs Point to Simplicity :: Summer baseball league is home to future Major League Stars

Cape Cod: All Signs Point to Simplicity :: Summer baseball league is home to future Major League Stars: "Cape Cod: All Signs Point to Simplicity
TexBall Ed. Note: This article appeared first on July 8, and is the first of a two part series on the infamous Cape Cod League. We'll bring part two to readers next week.

Summer baseball league is home to future Major League Stars

Harwich, Mass. - It's the simplicity that will get you. There are no admission prices, just two elderly gentlemen sitting in folding chairs behind a table that has rosters and a donation bucket at the gate. Tickets are for 50-50 raffles, not entrance fees. Hot dogs go for two dollars, a coke for one. Just like at the little shops, it is also true for baseball: Simplicity sells on Cape Cod.

The facilities are fields, not stadiums. The players are amateurs, not yet professionals. They come from the West and the South, the North and the East, to play a little hardball. Surrendering the possibilities of warm weather and consistent climate, they migrate to Cape Cod for a summer of employment and enjoyment. No internships at big accounting firms or entry level management positions for these college students. No, their summer is a little different. They work for their future, just as their contemporaries do. But they aspire to play for pay. And they plan to do it on a field, not in a corner office.

Gone are their hometowns and regular summer activities. No return to high school glories or past accomplishments. Instead, they travel to an island where New Englanders migrate for vacation and relaxation. Sure, there are players from the region, but it is the influx from the College World Series and farther distances that brings the attention. Flying in from places as far away as Arizona and Washington, they all add a national flavor to the regional feel.

It's a brand of baseball that is neither minor nor major in terms of its affiliation"

The LIST -- College Baseball Players Who Made it to a Major League Baseball Team

"TexBall Ed. Note: We found this list and thought it would be fun for our readers to see how many and who made it from collegiate ball to the show. Read this intro then click to go to baseball-almanac.com for the entire list.
Baseball Almanac is pleased to present 'The Colleges', an ongoing research project that lists every player from specific colleges who appeared in at least one college baseball game and made it to the major league level.
This menu represents the third phase of the college baseball project. The first phase was college data on the player's biographical pages, the second phase are pages dedicated to each college � with the first linking to the second and vice versa as they are being created & the third phase is the grouping of the individual college pages along side other college baseball related pages.
Menu Notes: Actual / historical college names are used inside of each page below AND on each player's bio. Example: Texas A&M University was once called Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. The latter will be found on the Texas A&M page below and each player who attended during that timeframe will have the latter / proper school name also."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Baseball America - 2005 College Summer Leagues: Top Prospects

2005 Summer League Outstanding Players and Prospects
"By Will Kimmey
August 25, 2005

� 2005 Summer Player of the Year: Andrew Miller
� 2005 Summer All-Americans

It's back to school time at college campuses across the nation, with students renewing acquaintances and sharing their summer experiences with one another. It's no different for the baseball players, a lot of whom enjoyed internships in summer wood-bat leagues.
Baseball America consulted with managers and scouts for 16 summer leagues to rank the Top 10 Prospects in each one. The Cape Cod League appeared last week, and here we present the valedictorians of 16 more leagues.

1. Michael Taylor, of, Mat-Su Miners (Stanford)

Extremely physical at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, Taylor has an unlimited upside. He has solid tools across the board but has barely tapped into them. He struggled early at the plate, but made adjustments to develop a more fluid stroke and hit .317-4-25. He also led the league with 25 stolen bases, covered a lot of ground in right field with his long stride and showcased an above-average arm for that position. With continued improvement over the next two years at Stanford, particularly in unlocking his power potential, he could be one of the top picks in the 2007 draft.
Vin DiFazio, c, Quakertown (Indian River, Fla., CC)
DiFazio paced the ACBL with 42 RBIs and ranked second in hits, runs, doubles and triples while batting .331/.407/.570 to help lead Quakertown to the best record in the league and a league title. His defense behind the plate impressed just as much, especially his arm strength and sturdy frame (6-foot, 200... (TexBall Ed Note: This is a great review. To read the entire story go to the link above) "

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The NCAA Is The Enemy

The NCAA Is The Enemy: "At a high school baseball information seminar, sponsored by Encore Sports and Perfect Game ID Camps, held in Decatur, Alabama, those in attendance were treated to the insight of college baseball coaching legend Ron Polk, of Mississippi State University.
As Coach Polk started his discussion, which was to be on the role of high school coaches and parents in recruiting, he announced, 'The NCAA is the enemy of college baseball!'
Coach Polk further went on to explain that at this point in his career he has made it his goal to berate the NCAA leadership and it's unfair treatment of college baseball programs, at every opportunity.
Coach Polk explained that several years ago it was decided that all NCAA DI men's sports scholarship totals would be reduced by 10%, across the board. This in the face of Title IX compliance. If you look at total allowable scholarships for men's sports you will see the unusual amounts, like 11.7 for baseball. This came as a result of reducing the previous number (13) by 10%.
Did you know that the NCAA Division I men's baseball College World Series is the second (2nd) largest championsip series sponsored by the NCAA? Coach Polk made this point .... the baseball regionals, super-regionals and CWS are surpassed in revenue generated for the NCAA only by the men's basketball tournament. What about football? Those bowl games "

Monday, September 12, 2005

Little League Online

Little League Online: "Too Much Baseball is Not a Good Thing

(TexBall Ed. Note: This column by Little League International President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen D. Keener, is reprinted from the 2005 Little League Baseball World Series Program. While Keener does not address pitch count and selection, a recent email response indicates LL is about to address these issues)

Each August, the Little League World Series celebrates children playing baseball, and families and fans of Little League Baseball come to Williamsport to trumpet the success of these champions, but the final score and world championship banner are certainly not the most important things.

Little League is about playing, having fun, and learning some of life's lessons along the way. Too many times in recent years stories have been told about children playing and sacrificing for baseball where the only thing that seems to matter is the outcome.

That is most definitely not what Little League is about.

Terms like "overuse," "burnout," and "epidemic," have been unjustly linked to the Little League program when these stories surface involving children as young as 10 who are playing dozens... click on link above to continue "

Thursday, September 01, 2005

WebBall: Shortstop Second: Grading Points

WebBall: Shortstop Second: Grading Points:
"Some Observations
Here are some things to consider for the infield that are not what many would call conventional wisdom but seem to reflect Ted Kubiak's experience as player and manager (as interpreted by WebBall)...

Kids rush forward too much.
The first instinct - too often - is to charge straight at the ball, without considering the angle it's moving, the spin, or the alignment needed for a good throw after the stop. Coaches: try to slow them down, get them to think laterally.

Unteach the cross-over.
Many coaches [including WebBall - ed.note] have emphasized the cross-over step as a way to get the body moving and get a jump to the side. But this can close off the hips and reduce flexibility and may force the body into a higher posture. So try to unteach crossovers. Have them turn with open hips and the lead leg going first.

Tire them out, then work them hard.
{Ed note: this is very contrary to the conventional wisdom that training should stop before muscle fatigue. But then again...] Players need to learn to be efficient - minimize effort for maximum results. If they start to tire but are challenged to keep doing the task, they will force themselves to find a way to do it with the least possible effort - to conserve energy. Perspiration = inspiration.

Taking charge is hard to teach but easy to spot.
The best infielders (see below) have confidence in their abilities, a desire to shine, and a willingness to take all the pressure on themselves. while mechanics and strategy can be taught, the instinct to be a leader is something each player will develop on their own - some sooner than others. "