Ever hear of a ball player named Rudy Jaramillo? Probably not.
How about batting Coach Rudy J of the Rangers… No?
How about 1972 #1 draft pick Rob Ellis, (that’s the baseball “Heisman Trophy”, folks). Doesn’t ring a bell?
Former Twins Batting Coach Rob Ellis…no?
All understandable…after all, how many current Big League Batting Coaches can you name at all? But, man do they matter.
A Couple of examples and then to the point of this article! (Hang in here).
Rudy may be the premier batting coach of this era in Big League Baseball (Rangers).
How much good can hitting coaches do for players?
I played a round of golf with Mark DeRosa (Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Indians (and possibly trade bait – as of this writing) and posed the question, “What made the difference in you and your career?”
Background Note: Mark played QB and baseball at U of Penn (That’s Ivy League – no scholarships). Drafted by The Braves and gradually brought up, Mark became a bit player on some very good teams with great clubhouse and on-field role models and influences…yet, this smart, personable guy was strictly a 25th man.
Shipped off to the Rangers, Mark said he took 5 swings with his new batting coach (Rudy J), was asked to stop right there and had the following question posed to him…something like, do you want to be a utility player the rest of your career?
Marks career began changing right there and in his 2nd season with the Rangers, his career took off as he reinvented himself into a full time Major League Baseball Player… $4.5 million better this year alone for this gritty, professional hitter!
See The Chart Below…it’s a tale of 2 entirely different careers!
And who did this fine player credit? You betcha, Govenor…Coach Rudy Jaramillo!
(a similar story accompanies Big League Outfielder, Gary Matthews Jr!)
These grateful players did take care of their hitting coach (hey Rudy, nice sauna…beautiful Rolex too).
|Mark DeRosaMark DeRosa Hitting Stats|
About Rob Ellis
Like so many great coaches, Rob did not have a huge Big League career… and was much more successful teaching. A bright, articulate person with a psychology degree & background, Coach Ellis is now on to other of life’s-options, having given many years to the game and having helped such players as Christian Guzman, Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones along the way.
FYI: Rob co-wrote the highly successful book, “The Mike Schmidt Hitting Study” and published a great DVD series on Teaching The Professional Hitter. He easily translates these terrific coaching-points for today’s youth players and their coaches… check it out.
Since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965, twenty players skipped the Minors and went directly to the Major Leagues after being drafted.
Year – Player – Position – Team – Yrs. in Majors
1967 Mike Adamson P Orioles1967-69
1969 Steve Dunning P Indians 1970-74, 76-77
1971 Burt Hooton P Cubs 1971-1985
1971 Rob Ellis 3B Brewers 1971, 74-75
1971 Pete Broberg P Senators 1971-78
1972 Dave Roberts 3B Padres 1972-75, 77-82
1973 Dick Ruthven P Philles 1973-86
1973 Dave Winfield OF Padres 1973-1995
1973 David Clyde P Rangers 1973-75, 78-79
1973 Eddie Bane P Twins 1973, 75-76
1978 Mike Morgan P A’s 1977-78, 82-83, 85-2002
1978 Bob Horner 3B Braves 1978-86, 88
1978 Tim Conroy P A’s 1978, 82-87
1978 Brian Milner C Blue Jays 1978
1985 Pete Incaviglia OF *Expos 1986-98
1988 Jim Abbott P Angels 1989-99
1989 Jon Olerud 1B Blue Jays 1989-2005
1993 Darren Dreifort P Dodgers 1994-2004
1995 Ariel Prieto P A’s 1995-2001
2000 Xavier Nady OF Padres 2000, 2003-pres.
* – Pete Incaviglia was drafted by the Expos, but was traded to the Rangers when Montreal was unable to sign him.
All the guys mentioned above started out the same way you and your players did…a kid playing baseball. They did NOT fall into the arms of these great coaches!
More than likely, they had talent and took advise from someone who had sound information and got their attention.
Players who “get it”, will keep learning.
Probably from one or more of these interested coaches/dads… after all, who coaches anybody’s Little League or travel team…somebody’s dad…right?
And Today…with the internet and the advent of great instructional DVD’s like Rob Ellis’ awesome dvd series on teaching hitting…
It becomes truly amazing how much you can learn with this resource and a remote control! “Break down film” right in your own living room… anyone with interest can really make a difference… for the next Mark DeRosa, Torii Hunter, Evan Langoria, Dustin Pedroia .
And Finally…Just Another Benefit of Being A Good Hitter:
Check out DeRosa’s wife… not bad for another good ballplayer from Jersey!
Coach John Peter, presently aged 50 something, is the publisher of Baseball Tips.com and a lifelong student of the greatest game on earth. After being asked to find a more suitable occupation at age 26, many seasons after donning his first uni at age 7, he has transcended his skills into the much more important role of coach and especially as an instructor. He prides himself as never having charged any player or coach for a single lesson! “This game has been wonderful to my family and has afforded me a lifestyle to instruct any local player or coach who seeks my knowledge without charge!”