MLB European Academy Tirrenia Part Two

Day 2:

Long and very hot day ahead of us….

   Day starts at 8:15 with chosen players and their early work out. I joined Craig Shipley and infielders group. Players start with short play catch just to get thein arms ready for short throws during work out. All work out is focused on foot work and how to approach the ball on 3rd base and 1st base. All balls are being rolled to the players on very short distance, so coach can see proper foot work and immediately can give an advice to the player. At the end we got some minutes left, so Craig decided to show to the players 5 different situation and ways how  to bare hand a ball.

   At 9:00 sharp, all players going through their warm up routine and play catch. Half an hour later players are devided by positions and headed to their stations. I decided to join catchers for this part of the practice. John McLaren took all catchers to the side and explain them how to cover homeplate (proper position of the feet)  and how to

apply a tag on runner (which situation to sweep or block the plate in). This part was followed  up by blocking at very high tempo. Catchers has done a good job which was visible later on in the afternoon game.
Warm up

   Next session was popfly communication  and rundowns. Coaches were shooting pop flys from the machine to all directions and all players were involved in. After popfly outfielders had short water brake and got to do baserunners for infielder to work on rundowns. All pitcher were rotating on the mound and reacting on runners on 1st base or 2nd base regarding the situation.

   Last part of morning session was Batting Practice. Position players
were devided into 4 groups. Live hitting, hitting of the machine, fielding and agility with Jeff. During first round I joined pitchers group which was working on pick off moves and holding the runners. Second round of hitting  I spend on agility station. Jeff has been working on how to get a good jump and on foot work during player´s first steps of run.

Pitchers working on pick-off moves

Batting practice

    Day has been hot so far and after lunch we had schedule a game.

   I took part of Team Blue as a coach on third base during afternoon game. Hitters has got more productive at bats during this game then yesterday. After game coaches decided that wednesday is going to be only morning game and players can get little more rest before last two days and can give their maximum at the end of third week.

   Before dinner all players got into the classroom session with Jeff and went through all off-season and in-season work outs and how to establish their programs and fit them into their week schedule. Loads of important information regarding food habits and regeneraiton was explained to all players and what to pay attention to during their preparation.

Long and very intensive day….. three more to come ……

Day 3:

   I begun the day with Bruce and pitchers at early work out. All work was focused on stride and get to the proper position when your foot plants.

    At 9:00 all players get through warm up routine and play catch. At 9:30 position players take quick  hitting session on multiple stations with Wally Joyner. Bruce takes pitchers aside and goes through mental preparation before game. Pitchers get their warm up routine and starters go to Bullpen after.

Hitting workout
Early work

   Game starts at 10:00 and I got first base today with Team Blue. Hitters on both sides were realy agressive today and put lot of pressure on defence by hitting first pitches. 

   At 14:00, after quick lunch, all pitchers got into the classroom and were watching their video from games. All pitchers were free to comment their performance and be coaches of their own. After two hours of video was visible that each of these young players gained tons of informations and things what to work on.

   Afternoon is free of practice so players took advantage of that and got some more rest to finish strong last two days of camp.


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