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SPECIAL REPORT: Cardinals’ Potent Running Game

Louisville Baseball HeadshotsThe University of Louisville has put up staggering stolen base numbers over the past eight years under Head Coach Dan McDonnell.

During the past two seasons, the Cardinals have stolen 150 bases (second nationally) in 2013 and 133 in 2014 (second nationally). In his first year with Louisville in 2007, his ball club swiped 153 bases (second nationally). In six of the eight years, his teams have pilfered at least 89 bases.

His tough-minded teams also refuse to allow pitchers to throw inside as his batters have been hit 100 or more times in five of the eight years and ranked first nationally in 2013 with 129 hit by pitches, second in 2012 with 115 HBP and sixth last season with 109 HBP.

Having more men on base and stealing efficiently allows his teams to have more runners in scoring position which has allowed Louisville to score over 400 runs seven of the eight years he has been with the Cardinals.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE.

U.C. Irvine’s Gillespie Explains How To Stop Stealers

Mike Gillespie Mug UC IrvineWith the home run becoming increasingly rare in college baseball, the running game on offense is more important than ever.

In 2010, the year prior to BBCOR bats being mandated for use by college programs, NCAA Division I programs averaged 0.94 home runs per game, according to the annual statistics’ trends compiled by the Association.

In 2011, that average dropped nearly in half to 0.52 with the new bats in use. The last two years, Division I teams have averaged 0.42 home runs per game in 2013 and 0.39 in 2014 — the lowest home run numbers in over 40 years.

Programs which are adept at stopping the running game of opponents have a big advantage when it comes to winning in today’s game.

Few coaches in college baseball have the track record that U.C. Irvine Head Coach Mike Gillespie has when it comes to shutting down base stealers.

To read more of this story, CLICK HERE.

Jaeger Profiles Throwing Programs Of The Elite

Alan Jaeger Mug2 10-22-13For more than eight weeks, Alan Jaeger  contacted hundreds of high profile baseball players and coaches on the high school and college levels to find out what throwing programs they utilize.

To our knowledge, such a report has never been compiled.

Numerous high profile pitchers wrote back to Alan along with highly respected college baseball coaches to chime in on the subject.

He also asks if a “one-size-fits-all” throwing program is necessary which typically includes specific limits on how “far” (ie 120 feet), how “much” (ie the counting of throws), how “long” (ie 10 minutes) and at what angle (ie on a line) pitchers were instructed to throw.

To read the entire story, CLICK HERE.

Brain Training Works Its Magic At U.C. Riverside

BrainRIVERSIDE, Calif. — U.C. Riverside’s baseball team participated in a brain training research project last season that significantly improved the vision of players and may have added up to 4-5 games in the win column.

The trained players had 4.4 percent fewer strikeouts – a decrease not experienced in the rest of the Big West Conference – and the team scored 41 more runs than projected after factoring in skill improvements players would be expected to gain over the course of a season.

The researchers arrived at this number by using the runs-created formula developed by Bill James.

The results of the study appear in a paper, Improved Vision And On-Field Performance In Baseball Through Perceptual Learning that was published in the Feb. 17 issue of Current Biology.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

Barry Bonds Had Remarkable Baseball Vision

Barry Bonds homerLAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Why isn’t more time spent training the eyes to see pitches better, fielding the ball more cleanly or training pitchers to have more command with more focused vision?

Dr. Bill Harrison, the most renowned visual performance specialist the game of baseball has ever witnessed, has spent nearly 50 years studying how to train the vision of athletes at the highest level possible.

He has worked with a who’s who list of current and future Hall of Famers in Major League baseball led by Barry Bonds, George Brett, and Greg Maddux, just to name a few. He’s also worked with more than half of the major league clubs, several colleges, universities and academies, including the original Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy.

Dr. Harrison has taught many other Major League hitters, fielders and pitchers how to improve their outward vision and internal vision skills to levels which have helped them excel. He has been instrumental in educating numerous coaches in the pro level about vision as well as on the college level and high school levels.

In almost 50 years of vision testing Major League hitters, Barry Bonds has no equal, according to Dr. Harrison.

Bonds may have had the greatest hitting specific vision of any batter in history the way he could stop from swinging at marginal pitches and go after pitches he could drive hard the vast majority of the time.

To read more about the vision of Barry Bonds, CLICK HERE

Will This Be The Future Of Pitching Staffs?

Butch Thompson Mug Miss StPitching coaches have always utilized different strategies to maximize the pitching talent they have on staffs.

No philosophy is more progressive than what renowned Mississippi State pitching coach Butch Thompson does with Bulldog pitchers.

He utilizes two starting pitchers each game (one to start the game and another a few innings later) which is followed by a setup man and closer. If needed, he will insert another pitcher or two in games if he needs ground balls or strikeouts. He has specialists for every occasion in a game.

Under his system, Mississippi State averages 4-5 pitchers a game with unbelievable success and less stress on pitchers’ arms since they don’t overextend themselves in games. The Bulldogs finished second in the nation last year.

To read more, CLICK HERE.